A Oakland, Calif., teenager is brain dead after going into the hospital for a routine tonsillectomy.
Jahi McGrath, 13, went into Oakland Children’s hospital on December 9 to have her tonsils removed to help address a sleep apnea condition. She is now tragically on life support.
According to the local CBS News affiliate, “She was supposed to go home the next day, but her grandmother noticed severely bleeding from her nose and mouth after the procedure. She soon went into cardiac arrest. The child is now hooked up to a ventilator and doctors are telling mother Nailah Winkfield she won’t recover.”
The teen’s grandmother, who is also a nurse at a different hospital, seemed to suggest the the nurses were perhaps indifferent to or absent during her granddaughter’s complications after the routine tonsil surgery. Jahi’s mother suggested that hospital social workers are pressuring her to pull the plug on her daughter, which she is understandably unwilling to do. The family is demanding a full investigation into this incident and is scheduled to meet with doctors today about the teen’s condition. The eighth grader’s uncle reportedly believes the hospital made an error “either before, during, or after surgery.”
Responding to the Jahi McMath incident, a spokesperson for the Oakland Children’s Hospital stated that “We’re very sad about this outcome, about what’s happened to her, but at this point I have no information on the details of the surgery. We will certainly investigate what happened. In any surgery there are risks and there can be unexpected, unanticipated complications.”
Indicating that the facility was fully staffed with nurses during the Jahi McMath tonsil removal surgery, the spokesperson also said that “the hospital was not trying to rush the family from the room and that it is the family’s decision to make with their doctor as to when they decide to remove their daughter from life support.”
[thumbnail image credit: James Heilman, MD]