Wood couple names five doctors in wrongful death of infant daughter

By Lawrence Smith | Mar 19, 2010

PARKERSBURG - Five Wood County physicians are named in wrongful death suit alleging they failed to properly diagnose an infant's intestinal problems following four days of tests and observations.

PARKERSBURG - Five Wood County physicians are named in wrongful death suit alleging they failed to properly diagnose an infant's intestinal problems following four days of tests and observations.

Stacy L. Lynch, and her husband Aaron L. Lynch, of Davisville, filed suit on Feb. 25, against Drs. Jeffrey Braham, Russell A. Miller, Sharileda C. Vance, Jeffrey S. Moncman and William M. Hensley. Also named as co-defendants are medical practices Braham and Vance -- Mid-Ohio Valley Medical Group Inc. -- and Hensley -- Parkersburg Radiology Services Inc. -- are a part.

In their complaint filed in Wood Circuit Court the Lynches allege all are in some way negligent in the treatment of their daughter, Cailyn, when the Lynches, concerned about Cailyn's digestive problems sought medical help shortly after her birth 2 ½ years ago. Despite the doctors' treatment, Cailyn's condition deteriorated resulting in her subsequent death.

According to the suit, Cailyn was born Sept. 15, 2007, at Camden-Clark Memorial Hospital. On Oct. 1, the Lynches brought Cailyn to see Braham at MOVMG's offices at the Grand Central Mall in Vienna due to "complaints of vomiting, not feeding well, fussiness after feeding, lots of gas, no bowel movements for 48 hours and a half pound weight loss."

The next day, the Lynches took Cailyn to the C-CMH emergency room where physicians on duty suspected she had pyloric stenosis, a condition in infants that causes severe vomiting due to a narrowing of the opening of the stomach into the small intestine. After determining the first one as inconclusive, Moncman, one of the attending physicians, ordered a second ultrasound study.

A second study was interpreted by Hensley that Cailyn did not have pyloric stenosis, but did conclude she had three episodes of Gastroesophageal reflux. Moncman and Hensley referred Cailyn to Vance, who was covering for Braham and ordered her admitted to C-CMH for further observation.

Records show on Oct. 3, Braham again assumed care of Cailyn in which he agreed with Hensley that she had reflux. As a precaution, Braham asked for a pediatric consultation from Miller.

Later that day, he issued a telephone order for ½-strength Isomil. After observing Cailyn the next day, Miller concluded she had reflux and vomiting, and she should continuing taking the Isomil.

According to the suit, Braham discharged Cailyn on Oct. 5. However, because her condition had "seriously deteriorated," the Lynches brought her back to C-CMH where she was immediately transported to Charleston Area Medical Center.

After arrival at CAMC, Cailyn was diagnosed as a septic infant with suspected necrotizing enterocolitis and volvulus. Necrotizing enterocolitis is the death of intestinal tissue, and volvulus is a bowel obstruction in which a loop in the bowel has abnormally twisted on itself.

Over the next two months, Cailyn underwent "two extensive hospitalizations and numerous surgeries" at CAMC for her illness. However, she died on Dec. 12, 2007.

According to her death certificate, Cailyn died due to disseminated intravascular coagulopathy as a result of liver insufficiency. Also known as disseminated intravascular coagulation, DIC is the formation of blood clots in the blood vessels that consumes proteins and platelets, and disrupts normal clotting and blood flow to the major organs.

Dr. Ascension Torres, who signed Cailyn's death certificate on Jan. 4, 2008, determined her death as a result of natural causes.

In their suit, the Lynches allege all the doctors "failed to acknowledge the serious condition of Cailyn" in not thoroughly reviewing her medical records, and ordering additional testing including "at a minimum a CBC, blood culture and urine culture." Due to Cailyn's illness and death, the Lynches maintain they've incurred expenses for her treatment, hospitalization and funeral, and have suffered "sorrow, mental anguish and solace, including society, companionship comfort, guidance, kindly offices and advice [Cailyn]."

The Lynches seek unspecified damages. They are represented by Paul K. Reese with the Warner Law Offices in Charleston.

The case is assigned to Judge Robert A. Waters.

Wood Circuit Court, case number 10-C-78

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