Fayette parents sue hospitals, blood bank, doctor over infant son's death
The parents of a Fayette County baby have sued hospitals, a doctor, the Central Blood Bank of Pittsburgh and the Institute for Transfusion Medicine over their 2-month-old son's death, attributed in part to a tainted blood transfusion.
Christopher and Cassi Lang of Uledi filed the civil action on Thursday in Fayette County court on behalf of the estate of their son, Xander, who was born prematurely and died in 2012.
Uniontown Hospital, Magee-Womens Hospital, UPMC Emergency Medicine Inc. and Dr. Febenido Pascua are among those named as defendants.
The couple, who filed as individuals and as administrators of their son's estate, seek compensatory and punitive damages in a 23-count suit that accuses the defendants of negligence, medical malpractice and wrongful death.
According to the 78-page complaint, Xander received a blood transfusion tainted with Cytomegalovirus while in the Magee neonatal intensive care unit in August 2012. Cytomegalovirus is a common, usually harmless, virus that can cause complications in newborns, according to the Mayo Clinic website.
The mother went to Uniontown Hospital then was rushed to Magee, where Xander was born prematurely by Caesarean section. At the time of his birth, his gestational age was 25 weeks and four days, and he weighed 1 pound, 3 ounces.
“Due to (the virus), Xander Lang's medical condition deteriorated, ultimately causing and/or contributing to his death on Oct. 30, 2012,” alleges the complaint filed by New Castle attorneys Douglas Olcott and Dorothy Dohanics.
The blood used in the transfusion came from the Institute for Transfusion Medicine, the blood bank for Magee, it said.
It should have been properly screened, tested or treated for Cytomegalovirus prior to being used for a premature infant, according to the suit.
Earlier, the child's mother had been treated at least three times in the Uniontown Hospital emergency department, where she did not receive proper care or testing from Pascua while in “hypertensive crises,” or for other problems, it says.
At one point, her blood pressure was 190 over 120, according to the lawsuit.
When the mother's obstetrician learned of her blood-pressure readings, he instructed her to go immediately to the hospital labor and delivery department, according to the complaint. She was admitted less than four hours after her last visit to the hospital emergency room, then rushed to Magee for the Caesarean section, according to the suit.
Pascua, who no longer works in the Uniontown Hospital emergency room, could not be reached for comment on Friday.
Uniontown Hospital spokesman Josh Krysak declined comment, saying the hospital has not received a copy of the suit.
Representatives of UPMC, the blood bank and Institute for Transfusion Medicine did not return phone calls for comment.
Bob Stiles is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Connellsville teen charged in attack on 80-year-old man, daughter allowed to play high school basketball
- Trinity United Presbyterian offers Festival of Lessons and Carols
- A Christmas story: Childhood holiday in Dunbar recollected
- Uniontown self-help book author finds ‘Inner Peace’ through writing
- Connellsville High announces leads for March musical
- Uniontown man charged with raping 2 girls
- Perryopolis police officer dies in Route 51 crash
- Normalville church performs Christmas play
- Connellsville burning rules set to kick in
- Approximately 80 visitors from New York come to Connellsville
- Cookies focus of Uniontown man’s eyecare fundraiser