Teen Girl Brain Dead After Tonsil Removal Goes Wrong

13-year-old Jahi McMath expected the procedure would keep her in the hospital for one night

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Doctors say a California teenager is unlikely to regain consciousness after a simple procedure to remove her tonsils at an Oakland hospital went horribly awry.

Jahi McMath, 13, went to have her tonsils removed last week at the local Children’s Hospital, where she was expected to stay overnight, the local CBS affiliate reports. But she began bleeding from her nose and mouth after the procedure and then went into cardiac arrest, and doctors say she is now brain dead.

Children’s Hospital said in a statement that it is reviewing the case.

Doctors have told the family that the girl, currently hooked up to a ventilator, will not recover. But family members, who allege that representatives of the hospital have pushed to take McMath off life support, say they want the hospital to keep her alive.

“I am not leaving unless she leaves with me because I will not let them pull the plug on my child,” the girl’s mother, Nailah Winkfield, told CBS.

[CBS]

24 comments
flashfox09
flashfox09

Let her go to Heaven without suffers on her bed!


KerryMartineau
KerryMartineau

she is dead so she is not suffering only the family that is refusing to except the reality of death...Pull the plug with out with out there permission so they can get on with life...

AmyUtley
AmyUtley

It could be medical negligence or possiably the girl had soem adverse reaction to the seditive they gave her to knock her out during the procedure


SachaSinger
SachaSinger

The hospital shouldn't be insisting that the parents give permission to pull the plug until after the investigation into what caused the cardiac arrest is complete.They may still need to evaluate the girl to determine a cause. It seems to me that they're trying to cover their a$$es by destroying evidence. Perhaps they gave her too much anesthesia...

missyp6343
missyp6343

This is a case of medical negligence plain and simple I'm so sorry for the family.

Openminded1
Openminded1

This is medical negligence, by a doctor and it will cost the doctor and the hospital and malpractice insurance a bundle. But the worse thing is what the parents are going through no amount of money can replace their daughter. Love your kids life can change in a second and the sorrow will be unbearable. 

joeblo1999
joeblo1999

Clinically dead is dead....put her on blow-by and let her go.

BirdyBird529
BirdyBird529

Yes, force your daughter to suffer because you don't understand science. Good job.

HeatherBaker
HeatherBaker

I think it's just too sudden and shocking and the hospital should keep the girl on life support while the grief-stricken family comes to terms with the fact that she is gone.  It's not too much to ask.  It's a kindness.  Let them have time to wrap their heads around their loss and accept it.  Just give them some time, gracefully, without making them fight for it.

rpearlston
rpearlston

@BirdyBird529 Suffering takes some amount of consciousness, which isn't possible for someone who is brain dead. The suffering here is that of the parents, who are simply ensuring that this depth of their suffering goes on as long as is possible.

RainHotdogBurritos
RainHotdogBurritos

@BirdyBird529  There was someone who was in a vegetative state. He could hear and think but not move. He was hoping they wouldn't unplug him when the conversation came up. But his parents persuaded the docs to gave him another day and how ever it happened, the dude was able to function the next morning.

pense
pense

@HeatherBaker I agree. The people here must either be cold hearted or non parents. What kind of person couldn't understand the anguish of a parent who took her daughter for a such a minor and routine surgery only to be told that she is now brain dead?  She could have lived with her tonsils. For the hospital, it's all about money. You are right, it's not too much to ask, and they are supposed to be a Children's hospital, no less? Of course, they will be sued eventually-as they well should. 

BirdyBird529
BirdyBird529

The hospital doesn't have a choice in the matter. It's not a matter of "letting" them grieve. They can't pull the plug without her parents express permission. Where are you getting that they have to "fight" for it?

pense
pense

@rpearlston @BirdyBird529  She read the article.


"But family members, who allege that representatives of the hospital have pushed to take McMath off life support, say they want the hospital to keep her alive."


Of course, they cannot force her, but they can and are apparently trying to coerce her to take the child off of life support.



rpearlston
rpearlston

@RainHotdogBurritos @BirdyBird529 What you're describing in locked-in syndrome, not a vegetative state.  The difference ought to show up on an EEG or a PET scan.  


That's a nice apocryphal story, but that's it.

docace
docace

@pense @HeatherBaker

Agreed... Look at the links I posted up top. Hospitals make some decisions far too fast for the human condition. Three days is not enough time to make this decision, especially in a non traumatic situation such as this.

pense
pense

@rpearlston @HeatherBaker Um, that went on for 15 YEARS??? Schiavo was an ADULT.  This happened  a few DAYS ago? This is a 13 year old who went into surgery for a tonsil removal and is now dying. Apples to apples please.

KimarieSings
KimarieSings

@BirdyBird529 The article made it seem that the hospital has been putting pressure on the family to sign the order. Of course they can't "Force them", but I think what Heather was saying is that the family needs time to deal with the shock before they are even approached with the decision to shut her down.

DeweySayenoff
DeweySayenoff

@docace@pense@rpearlston@HeatherBaker 

Schaivo wasn't brain dead.  She was in a persistent vegetative state.  Her EEG always showed activity (similar to what it shows for lime jello, by the way).  The autopsy proved that most of her brain - and all of her higher functions - were in a jello-like condition, too.

Assuming in this case that the term "brain dead" means a completely flat EEG and no activity in a PET, then there is no chance the child will "heal".  No one who has persisted in that state for more than a few hours has ever come back (and all known cases who have been brainwave flatline even for a short time had hypothermia or clinically induced comas involved, which isn't the case here).

Because the clinical states of the two cases are significantly different, they don't compare and you obviously MISSED the apples to apples comparison point entirely.

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