Andrea Dearden Jun. 26, 2013, 8:46pm

Two Madison County home health care providers are being sued by a mother who says her baby suffered brain damage because of faulty equipment.

Katie McDonald, on behalf of her minor son, filed a lawsuit June 20 in Madison County Circuit Court against Apria Healthcare Inc. and Mclane-Brian Inc., doing business as Anchor Home Healthcare.

McDonald says her son was born in April 2012 with respiratory failure due to narrowing of the airway between his vocal cords and trachea. After a lengthy stay at the Children's Hospital in St. Louis the boy was released to home care in August 2012, according to the complaint, and arrangements were made with Apria Healthcare and subcontractor Anchor Home Health Care to provide all supplies needed for respiratory therapy.

At the time of his release from the hospital, McDonald says her son was making progress and was able to appreciate lights, sounds and movement. However, while at home she claims she complained several times about the equipment provided by Apria Healthcare. She contends those concerns were ignored by the company.

McDonald alleges in October 2012 the tracheal collar for the respiratory therapy machine malfunctioned, depriving her son of oxygen. She claims the audible warning devices in the event of an accidental disconnection of the tracheal collar failed to function. McDonald says her son was left with irreversible brain damage because of the lack of oxygen.

McDonald accuses both companies of negligence for providing inadequate equipment and failing to respond to complaints about it. She asks for more than $100,000 in damages and court fees.

Attorney John J. Hopkins of Alton represents McDonald and her son.

Madison County Circuit Court Case No. 13-L-1028

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