Misplaced IV on newborn caused permanent injuries, suit claims

Kelly Holleran Sep. 7, 2012, 8:20am


The parents of a toddler have filed suit against the doctors who they claim caused their child to endure severe burns to her left leg shortly after birth by misplacing an IV into her.

Jamian and Kristen Holder claim defendant Dr. Brooke Ballard of defendant St. Mary's delivered their child, identified only as J.H., on Aug. 26, 2010. When born, J.H. suffered from respiratory distress and required IV fluids and antibiotics, according to the complaint.

While administering an IV, however, Ballard misplaced the IV and burned J.H., causing an infection on her left ankle, the suit states.

Four days following her birth, J.H. was admitted to defendant St. John's Hospital for further treatment of her burns and cellulitis, the complaint says. While at the hospital, J.H. received a medication used to treat bacterial infections, called Clindamycin, and received plastic surgery, which was followed with local wound care, her parents claim.

Despite the measures taken, J.H.'s condition worsened, so a split skin graft was performed on Aug. 30, 2010, according to the complaint. Still, J.H. continued to experience a death of the cells on her leg, which continued to extend up her left calf, the suit states.

Because of the care she received, J.H. developed severe and deep infected burns to her lower left calf and foot and experienced great physical and mental pain and suffering, the complaint says. She also became permanently disabled and disfigured, was forced to undergo multiple surgical procedures and incurred medical costs, the Holders claim.

In addition to Ballard, St. Mary's and St. John's, J.H.'s parents name Drs. Beau Batton, Reuben A. Bueno, Ginger Darling and Dennis Costerisan as defendants. All of the named defendants worked at either St. Mary's or St. John's and provided care to J.H., according to the complaint.

The defendants negligently failed to properly administer an IV to J.H.'s leg, failed to appreciate that the pain in J.H.'s leg was due to the misplaced IV, failed to check the peripheral pulses in J.H.'s leg, failed to examine J.H.'s legs for temperature differences, failed to timely detect and remove the IV from J.H.'s leg and ignored the results of a prenatal test that revealed respiratory distress, among other negligent acts, the suit states.

In their complaint, the Holders are seeking a judgment of more than $50,000, plus costs.

Rufus J. Tate Jr. of The Tate Law Firm in St. Louis, Wayne C. Harvey of Wayne Harvey and Associates in St. Louis and William E. Dailey Jr. of The Dailey Law Firm in St. Louis will be representing them.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 12-L-1358.

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