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Deaconess sued over infant death


A federal lawsuit has been filed in connection with an infant death at an Evansville hospital.

Attorneys George Barnett and David Miller filed the complaint against Deaconess Gateway in the death of 7-day-old of Aerabella Whitfield in August 2016.

In a news release, the attorneys said the child’s parents, Amanda Moore and Braden Whitfield of Owensville, took 3-day-old Aerabella to the Deaconess Gateway emergency room for abnormal, rapid breathing.

The suit contends the infant was observed in the pediatric unit and was discharged the next day without an appropriate medical screening or adequate treatment.

When the baby’s condition failed to improve, her mother took her back to Gateway where she was urgently re-admitted.

The complaint states Aerabella was suffering from an inadequate oxygen supply and was transferred to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit.

The suit claims the nursing staff provided an assessment to a doctor over the phone, advising that the screening they conducted indicated the infant was fine.

But Aerabella went into cardiopulmonary arrest soon thereafter and resuscitation efforts were unsuccessful.

The attorneys say an autopsy determined the baby had a heart defect that’s usually discovered during screening and surgically corrected in the the first seven days of life, with a very low mortality rate.

A Deaconess spokeswoman told WNIN she can’t comment on the suit.

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