jahi mcmath

As the drama of Jahi McMath continues, I wonder if anyone from Oakland Children’s Hospital apologized to her family for the potential neglect that led to her death. Yes, I’m calling it a death although her heart continues to beat with the help of a mechanical machine but please stop bashing her family because they’re having a difficult time letting go. If you brought your 13-year old daughter to the hospital for what was described as a simple procedure and she ended up bleeding to the point of death, you’d have a hard time letting go too.
While the debate about quality of life continues, I wish I would hear more of my medical colleagues discussing ways that this tragedy can be averted in the future. I hope that Jahi’s physician and hospital can answer the following questions:
• How long did it take for the issue of Jahi’s bleeding be addressed after her mother complained?
• How long did it take for the surgeon to arrive after he or she was informed about her bleeding complications? 15 minutes? 20? 30? 60?
• Does the hospital have a policy regarding how far away from the hospital an admitting physician can live or what the expected time of arrival should be in the event of an emergency?
• Is there an in-house surgical resident or an ENT fellow at the hospital to address emergencies until the attending physician is able to arrive?
• Did Jahi’s family know that 2 to 4% of children who have their adenoids and tonsils removed have bleeding problems after surgery?
• Did Jahi’s family know that her age and increased weight increased her risk of having complications?
The public has a right to ask these questions and receive appropriate answers. Part of being a good physician and hospital is learning from tragic mistakes so that they can’t be repeated. Let’s continue to pray for Jahi’s family as well as our present healthcare system. Both are in need of Divine intervention.