$2.2 million settlement for partial amputations of hands and feet

The insurance carriers for an attending physician and the resident she was supposed to be supervising have paid $2.2 million, the full amount of coverage available, to a Boston girl who lost portions of her hands and feet as a result of an improper blood transfusion. The child, who was eleven months old at the time of treatment, entered the hospital for drainage of an abscess on her neck. Because she had sickle cell anemia, it was anticipated that she would need a transfusion of extra red cells before the surgery. The first-year resident, who had never done this type of transfusion, called the attending physician at home to ask how to do it. The attending told the resident to look in a handbook for the formula, and the resident, attempting to follow these directions, chose and used the wrong formula, resulting in a drainage of 80% of the baby’s blood from her body. She suffered tissue damage to her extremities as a result of lack of blood flow, and required multiple amputations.