DENVER – The family of a 10-year-old boy who died less than an hour after leaving Swedish Medical Center in December 2014 has filed suit against the hospital, claiming it caused the boy’s wrongful death.
Isaiah Bird, 10, of Littleton, died Dec. 24, 2014 – a day after he went into respiratory arrest and collapsed in a Denver pharmacy.
He had been released from Swedish Medical Center 40 minutes before he collapsed after undergoing tests for the flu, according to the suit.
The lawsuit claims Bird was prematurely discharged from the emergency room and had not responded to breathing treatments after his pediatrician diagnosed him with influenza earlier that day.
The suit says Bird had difficulty breathing and a fever when he was taken to the Swedish emergency room, but that he was discharged 1 ½ hours later. While his father, Troy Bird, was filling his son’s prescription, the boy collapsed.
The suit says Bird suffered “catastrophic, irreversible brain damage” because of the lack of oxygen to his brain. He was taken off life support the next day and died.
The suit says an autopsy found Bird had the flu, as well as pneumonia and an upper-respiratory infection.
The doctor assigned to bird at Swedish, Jenna Greenfield, and the nurse who treated him, Kathleen Carpenter, are both named as defendants in the suit, in addition to the hospital.
“Isaiah’s pediatrician sent him to the ER because he could not breathe and needed to be admitted to the hospital,” the family’s attorney, David S. Woodruff, said in a news release. “Instead, the ER staff discharged him without any attempt at a proper diagnosis. This boy suffocated to death literally on the way home from the hospital, because of the carelessness of Swedish hospital and its staff.”
The hospital issued a statement saying it was surprised by the accusations in the suit:
"Swedish Medical Center is aware of the lawsuit that was filed today, though we are surprised by many of the accusations. Our hearts go out to the family, it is never easy to lose a loved one and no doubt this is a particularly difficult time of year."