An Orangeburg County woman and her son have won almost $1.3 million in a medical malpractice lawsuit against the Regional Medical Center.
“We want the best available care for families in Orangeburg," attorney David Williams said in a press release.
“The most disheartening aspect of this injury is how easily it could have been prevented. If the Regional Medical Center had allowed its staff to follow its own policies and procedures, this family would have never gone through this ordeal,” he said.
An Orangeburg County jury returned the verdict in favor of Tekayah Hamilton and her son Wednesday morning after two days of trial and two days of deliberation, the release said.
The son received $1,127,280 for his injuries while Hamilton received $135,477, according to court records.
”It is the practice of the Regional Medical Center not to comment on pending court cases," hospital President and CEO Charles Williams said Friday. "RMC’s attorney is in the process of filing the appropriate post-trial motions that will be heard by the courts.
“RMC will continue to follow the attorney’s advice and let the court system do its job."
According to Orangeburg County court records, the son was admitted to RMC on Oct. 25, 2014.
The month-old child had a fever of 102.6 degrees without any other symptoms or past medical history, records state.
"While the pair arrived seeking treatment for a simple fever, the child left the hospital with a permanently disfigured hand," the press release states. "While being treated, the child suffered from IV ‘infiltration,’ an easily preventable condition in which medicine that was supposed to be entering his bloodstream through an IV drip instead seeped into the surrounding skin and muscle."
"The result was swelling and a large painful patch of dead skin covering the back of the child’s hand due to burning medication," the release states. "Even after subsequent wound care, the child bears a scar."
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The lawsuit accused the hospital of medical negligence that has caused the child pain and suffering, permanent scarring and impairment; loss of enjoyment of life and medical expenses and emotional distress.
In its answer, the RMC “denied any deviation from the standard of care by its employees.”
The hospital claimed the child's injuries were caused “solely by a natural disease process” and that the plaintiff was at least equally as negligent as the hospital.
The hospital, citing the South Carolina Tort Claims Act, also said any damages claimed by the plaintiff would be limited to $600,000.
Court records claim ampicillin and claforan were given to the infant over the course of two days.
On Oct. 28 at 4:50 a.m., court records indicate the patient was “being fussy.”
"The IV antibiotics were discontinued, the IV dressing was removed and the minor plaintiff's hand was puffy with bruising," the court records state. "Additionally, there was swelling to the fingers and the peripheral IV was removed. Additionally a warm compress was applied."
About 27 minutes later, the site was noted “to have edema and pain,” records state. Infiltration was noted at this time.
About 2 hours and 13 minutes later, court records indicate an assessment of the child's right hand found the hand “swollen with a darkened area to the top of the hand.”
The hand was noted to have “discoloration and blisters,” records state.
The plaintiffs were represented by David and Ginny Williams of Williams & Williams in Orangeburg as well as Johnny Krell of Uricchio, Howe, Krell, Jacobson, Toporek, Theos & Keith in Charleston.