Belsky Weinberg & Horowitz, LLC A Personal Injury & Workers’ Compensation Law Firm

A penny, an 8-month-old boy and a medical malpractice claim

Many Maryland parents may empathize with an out-of-state mother's frustration when her then 8-month-old boy was ill. After numerous medical visits that failed to resolve her son's illness, she went to an emergency room where it was discovered that he had a penny lodged in his throat. Now, the woman claims the doctors who missed it are guilty of medical malpractice.

The boy's first doctor visit was in June, and he was diagnosed as suffering from a viral infection. The mother says she was not convinced and requested additional testing be done -- a request that doctors denied. Her son's rash and fever continued to get worse, and she took him back to the doctor's office no less than five times.

It was not until she took him to a California emergency room that an X-ray was done. It turned out that a penny was stuck in his esophagus, and it was causing the boy's breathing to be labored. He was rushed to a children's hospital in the area, and the offending coin was removed. The corrosion on the penny indicated that was in the boy's throat for at least three weeks and was responsible for his symptoms.

The Medical Board of California is investigating the doctors who misdiagnosed the boy's condition on at least five separate occasions. This woman has the same right to file a medical malpractice claim that any Maryland parent would have under similar circumstances. Successfully showing that a child did not receive the appropriate standard of care could result in an award of damages and procedural changes that could help prevent another child from being injured.

Source:, "Long Beach Mother Claims Malpractice After Providers Ignored Symptoms of 8-Month-Old Boy With Penny Stuck in Esophagus", Cindy Von Quednow and Kimberly Cheng, Nov. 17, 2016

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