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Did a Doctor’s Misdiagnosis Cause a 7-Year-Old Girl’s Death? One Mother Thinks So.

— March 2, 2018

Losing a child is devastating in any situation, but even more so when it could have been prevented. One mom who recently lost her daughter believes her death was preventable and plans to file a wrongful death lawsuit against Woodhull Hospital and Dr. Alexander Adotey for negligence. The grieving mother, Kareema Murriel, “blames her daughter’s shocking death last month on a misdiagnosis by Dr. Adotey who she says ignored her daughter’s recent medical history.” When discussing the doctor and why she wants to file the lawsuit, she said, he “should not be operating on children…He should have taken the proper precautions . . . I don’t want this to happen to anyone else or any other families.”

Late last month, Murriel’s lawyers sent a letter to the “state Department of Health, formally requesting an investigation into the hospital’s handling of the case.” But what happened, exactly? How did the child die and why does her mother think Dr. Adotey is to blame?

It all began when Murriel’s daughter “came home from school on Jan. 12, complaining of stomach and throat pain.According to Murriel, her daughter had a 101-degree fever, so they hopped in the car the next day and drove to Woodhull Hospital, the same place where her daughter was born. At the time, Murriel thought her daughter might have strep throat, and when they arrived at the hospital, she warned “Adotey and the nurses that her daughter had the contagious infection in 2016 and 2017 and insisted on a strep test.”

However, according to the Murriel, the “doctor responded rudely and declared that the girl did not have strep throat.” Instead, he said that her daughter “had the same flu-related illness other children who came into the hospital had.”

Image of The bacterium Streptococcus pneumoniae, a common cause of pneumonia
The bacterium Streptococcus pneumoniae, a common cause of pneumonia; image courtesy of the CDC via WIkimedia Commons,

Unsatisfied, Murriel sought out another doctor to do the test. Once “cultures were taken” her daughter was prescribed Tamiflu and sent home on January 13. She spent that entire day sleeping and vomiting, but “woke up feeling better the next day,” according to her mother. Once awake Murriel gave her daughter a banana and more Tamiflu, but her daughter proceeded to throw up again. That’s when Murriel decided to return to Woodhull. Once there, she was again told by hospital staff that “her daughter had the flu” and confirmed that she also tested positive for strep throat.

By this time, her daughter was in obvious distress. Murriel said, “my daughter was in pain. … She was panting heavily, she was saying she can’t breathe and asked me to not let her die.”

In response, nurses began making preparations to “transfer her daughter to another hospital specializing in cardiac care and pneumonia,” but that never happened. Instead, her daughter “threw up twice, slumped over and started coding,” according to Murriel. At 4:28 p.m. on January 14 her daughter was pronounced dead, “less than 24 hours after Dr. Alexander Adotey failed to properly treat her for a strep throat that became a fatal case of pneumonia.”

Attorneys Sanford Rubenstein and Scott Rynecki were hired to represent Murriel. When discussing the matter, Rubenstein said, “This tragedy is an example of negligent medical care provided at Woodhull Hospital, a city facility that so many who live in Bedford-Stuyvesant rely on when they get sick.” Additionally, he also called for “state health officials to take a hard look at revoking the licenses to practice medicine of those medical professionals who bear the responsibility for her wrongful death.”

Dr. Adotey has so far issued statements defending himself and his actions, claiming he “did his due diligence in treating the child.” He added:

“We have the proper sources of dealing with suspicions that come up. If she has any questions about the care, there are other ways of doing it. The hospital is there, we have risk management if she has questions or anything because the case has been investigated.”


Mom blames 7-year-old daughter’s death on misdiagnosis by heartless Woodhull doctor: suit

Mom blames kid’s death on misdiagnosis by Woodhull doc: suit

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