Army Medical Center Pays Millions in Medical Malpractice Cases


A Hawaiian military family has been awarded $29.5 million in damages by the U.S. District Court of Hawaii over a malpractice lawsuit against Tripler Army Medical Center.

The case revolved around John and Laura Warren. In September 2016, they took her little daughter to Tripler when her stomach swelled up tight and her under her belly button turned blue. Warren’s infant stopped breathing shortly after arriving at the hospital and required resuscitation.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser was the first to report on the court’s decision. Tripler Army Medical Center did not respond to the Military Times’ request for comment.

Some hospital staff thought the infant had midgut volvulus, a condition in which the intestine twists and loses blood flow. This condition can lead to death or serious medical complications if not addressed immediately. Doctors didn’t test the baby for symptoms, but they found that Warren’s child had a twisted intestine.

“Instead, they waited 19 hours,” Loretta Sheehan, one of the Warrens’ attorneys, told Star Advertiser. “And when she was dying, they sent her in her ambulance to Kapiolani Medical Center. They found that about 90 to 95 percent of her small intestine was dead. The word they used was “necrosis”. There they spent the next five years. hospitalized for several months. She had about 14 surgeries in total. ”

The infant has lost most of his intestines and now needs to be given nutrition and medication through a tube that inserts a permanent ‘hole’ into his body. Over time, those holes became infected, causing damage to the heart and brain.

According to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, John Warren, who was serving in the Army when his daughter was hospitalized, ultimately decided to retire to prioritize his daughter’s care.

“Originally, when she was in the hospital, they gave me an order to go to another place,” he told Star-Advertiser. “However, due to her medical condition, she was still hospitalized at the time.”

Warren’s malpractice ruling is one in a series of malpractice lawsuits against Tripler. Last year, the medical center paid out $15 million for a baby with brain damage at birth due to a delayed Caesarean section for Tripler. In 2015, Tripler also paid $1.3 million for the death of a 4-month-old infant who suffered brain damage from an upper respiratory tract infection.

Since 1997, Tripler has paid more than $108 million in malpractice judgments and settlements.

Zamone “Z” Perez is a responsive reporter and podcast producer for Defense News and Military Times. He previously worked for Foreign Policy and Ufaham Africa. He graduated from Northwestern University, where his thesis researched international ethics and the prevention of cruelty. You can find him on his Twitter @zamoneperez.



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