I'm sure many of you read the recent New York Times article about Rory Staunton, the twelve year old boy who died from bacterial sepsis despite being taken to the hospital emergency room multiple times. According to the story, numerous mistakes were made by the physicians and the hospital taking care of him. This has brought torrents of indignant comments and sympathetic editorials. Of the over 1600 comments at the end of the article, many were written by people who shared their own tales of emergency room horrors and clueless doctors.
After reading the lengthy piece, my first reaction was, it must be nice to have a New York Times journalist as a family friend. The reporter is a friend of the boy's uncle. So right away you know this was not going to be an impartial airing of facts. The hospital and its staff are also hamstrung in their abilities to defend themselves. With all the bad publicity and potential lawsuit hanging over their heads, I'm sure they've been advised by their lawyers or insurance companies to just keep their mouths shut for now. As the old saying goes, there's two sides to every story and this story has only presented one side.
Now White Coat's Call Room has written his own lengthy and excellent rebuttal to the article. He goes through it and point by point explains why the case is not as simple and obvious as Mr. Dwyer would have his readers believe. Even if you're not an ER doc or a pediatrician, you should read it for its illumination of yellow journalism in the NY Times. Nice job White Coat. Somebody's got to stick up for our fellow docs when they can't defend themselves because of legal precautions.