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Mother alleges negligence in disabled child’s death

A Somerset County woman who claims a home care nurse’s negligence caused the death of her 34-month-old disabled child filed suit in federal court Monday.

Sarah A. Wilford filed suit in U.S. District Court in Baltimore alleging medical malpractice by Geraldine Grande, a current Florida resident who was practicing in Maryland at the time of the child’s death.

The child, who is designated by the initials MJB in the lawsuit, was dependent on a ventilator. When Grande, a home health nurse, began her shift on July 29, 2017, MJB’s oxygen saturation was 99 percent in the morning but by late afternoon had dropped down to 75 percent.

Grande allegedly suctioned MJB’s tracheostomy tube and supplemented oxygen, but the child appeared pale and non-responsive, according to the lawsuit. Another nurse arrived shortly before 4 p.m. that day and noted MJB’s lips were blue and he had no heartbeat. She instructed Grande to call 911.

Emergency personnel arrived and found that the tracheostomy tube was dislodged when they attempted to give MJB oxygen. Although they replaced the tube and were able to get him oxygen, he was transported to the hospital and pronounced dead at 4:35 p.m.

The complaint alleges Grande breached the standard of care when she did not detect and treat MJB’s respiratory distress and assess the tracheostomy tube.

“As a direct and proximate result of the aforementioned negligence of the Defendant, M.J.B. was injured, suffered pain and died,” the complaint alleges. “Had the Defendant complied with the applicable standard of care, M.J.B. would have been successfully treated, and he would today be alive and well with his mother.”

Wilford is represented by Thomas C. Cardaro, Jeffrey L. Peek and C. Drew Fritch of Cardaro & Peek LLC in Baltimore. Cardaro was not immediately available for comment Wednesday.

Grande does not have a publicly listed phone number.

The case is Sarah A. Wilford et al. v. Geraldine Grande, 1:19-cv-00140.

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