Family Sues NC Hospital Over Wrongful Death of Teen

The parents of a teenager who died following a skateboarding accident have filed a lawsuit against Carteret General Hospital in Morehead City, North Carolina, alleging that staff negligence led to the death of their son.

Tideland News reports David and Kimberly Hughes of Emerald Isle filed the charges after their son, Andrew Davis (Drew) Hughes, died earlier this year. According to the suit, he died after being removed from life support, following a series of negligent actions by medical personnel that caused oxygen deprivation and massive brain damage.

The initial accident occurred on June 28, 2013, when Drew fell from the skateboard he was riding near his home and hit his head, according to the news report. The 13-year-old was transported by ambulance to Carteret, where doctors decided to transport him to Vidant Medical Center in Greenville, NC, due to a potential basilar skull fracture. He was intubated and placed on ground transport for the trip to Vidant.

Drew’s troubles began en route to the medical center, according to the lawsuit. The Hughes allege that Drew was not properly sedated or restrained for transport, which resulted in him waking up in the ambulance and pulling out his breathing tube. At this point, the ambulance pulled over and four crew members worked to re-intubate him.

The teen had been given sedatives and paralytics and could not breathe on his own. According to reports, the re-intubation was improperly placed into Drew’s esophagus, instead of his trachea, and he was not receiving any oxygen.

An emergency room doctor contacted regarding the patient’s distress told the ambulance crew that Drew’s symptoms pointed to respiratory arrest. But, the ambulance crew failed to verify the tube placement, according to the report.

The teen’s condition deteriorated, and the ambulance was diverted to Carolina East. Upon arrival, Drew had no pulse and cyanotic color, and the ET tube was not fogging — all characteristic of an improper esophageal intubation. The lawsuit alleges the crew failed to notify doctors at Vidant of the oxygen deprivation when he was moved there from Carolina East. Drew had no brain activity when he arrived and died when he was removed from life support.

According to Tideland News, Drew’s parents filed a wrongful death lawsuit for the death of their son.

When medical negligence leads to the wrongful death of a family member, you have the right to sue the responsible parties. If you believe that the death of your loved one was caused by negligence, you can turn to the experienced medical malpractice lawyers of Kelly & West for help.