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Parents sue over slow removal of swallowed button battery

Oregon parents of young children may be aware of the dangers of button batteries. Shaped like small coins, they can be easily swallowed by toddlers, causing permanent injuries or death. According to the National Capital Poison Center, button batteries were swallowed by over 1,900 children in 2015, and 20 of these incidents caused the deaths or serious injuries of children under the age of 6.

On March 10, a 19-month-old girl in Florida was seriously injured after swallowing a button battery that came out of a remote control. The girl's parents are suing the hospital where she was treated because they believe that doctors there took too long to remove the battery. The parents filed a hospital negligence lawsuit against Wolfson Children's Hospital in Jacksonville on Dec. 28.

The parents said that they wanted the button battery to be removed from their daughter's body immediately, but the doctor at the hospital acted like what happened was no big deal. Five hours after the girl was taken to the hospital, the battery was removed. Since she swallowed the battery, the girl's esophagus has suffered burns, and she has had 20 surgeries. The parents believe that their daughter would not have suffered such serious burns if the hospital had removed the battery more quickly.

A patient may decide to sue a hospital for medical malpractice if hospital staff took too long to address an urgent medical problem. Some patients file medical malpractice lawsuits if they believe that they were sent home from the hospital too soon and were harmed as a result. Having the advice of an attorney can be advisable in these types of situations.

Source: FOX News Health, "Florida family sues hospital after toddler swallows battery," Dec. 29, 2016

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