Family sues in 7-year-old's asthma death

Sept. 26, 2011 at 11:25 AM

CHICAGO, Sept. 26 (UPI) -- An Illinois woman whose 7-year-old son died from asthma after being transferred to three hospitals in less than 12 hours says she is suing for negligence.

Sharese Pointer, of Matteson, Ill., said her son Aaron was moved out of the first two suburban Chicago hospitals on Sept. 13, 2010, because doctors said he needed more specialized care, the Chicago Sun-Times reported Monday.

Her son's brain was "starved for oxygen" by the time they reached the pediatric intensive care unit at Provena St. Joseph Medical Center in Joliet, Ill., and he later died, says the lawsuit by the Pointer family.

The lawsuit, filed in Cook County Circuit Court, alleges Aaron's asthma was not properly treated and that he died unnecessarily.

It names St. James Hospital in Olympia Fields, Ill., St. James Hospital in Chicago Heights, Ill., and Provena St. Joseph Medical Center in Joliet, Ill., as well as two doctors and an ambulance service.

The Illinois Department of Public Health said it is up to doctors and the family to decide if a patient should be transferred to another hospital. Family members, however, said they did not feel they were given a choice.

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