‘The misdiagnosis ended up costing her, her life’: A Texas family’s warning for all moms and dads

AUBREY, Texas (KXAN) — Jeremy Wattenbarger proudly wears a picture button of his daughter, Betty. 

As he snapped the image, he remembers her large smile. It will be just one of his favorites, which captured her happiness in that moment.

“She completely beloved audio. She cherished ‘Yo Gabba Gabba!’ singing and dance and participate in,” Wattenbarger described as his face lit up. “She was mastering to journey her bike.”

Wattenbarger claimed Betty died Jan. 31, 2019 from flu problems triggered by pneumonia and sepsis, which is the body’s critical response to an an infection. 

She was 7-many years-outdated. 

“There are a whole lot of things about Betty that with her passing… it took a good deal of mild out of this property, and it introduced a whole lot of sorrow to this home,” Wattenbarger spelled out. 

The days before Betty’s death 

The father recalled she had gotten sick on a Sunday and had a fever. The up coming handful of times, he reported she was improving and sensation superior but then took a sudden switch. 

One of the last shots taken of Betty Wattenbarger as her family waited to be witnessed at Pediatric Urgent Treatment Denton. (Courtesy: Jeremy Wattenbarger)

“She commenced to come to be a bit discolored. A very little little bit of yellowish tint, bluish tint to her lips,” Wattenbarger explained. 

The spouse and children took Betty to Pediatric Urgent Care Denton near Dallas-Fort Value. Wattenbarger explained she was taken care of by a nurse practitioner and diagnosed with flu. 

“We’re inquiring about why is Betty… she seems to be respiration actually tough and speedy. They claimed ‘well it is almost certainly since she has a fever of 102.9,’” Wattenbarger stated. 

Her father said no x-rays have been taken and no other health care tests were finished. He defined Betty was provided some Motrin for her fever, and they were being despatched property. 

The next day he reported he located Betty in the living space with blood coming out of her mouth. He quickly rushed her to the ER where she died. 

“She experienced a 1/3 cup of fluid in her still left lung. Her other lung experienced the commence of pneumonia,” Wattenbarger stated. “This baby died significantly less than 15 hours right after staying at an urgent care.”

Why were signs missed? 

The Wattenbargers have been striving to get answers considering that Betty’s death. 

“The misdiagnosis ended up costing her, her daily life,” Wattenbarger explained. “There were being a good deal of issues that were missed.”

Her father mentioned Betty was autistic and could not converse a lot of phrases or demonstrate what she was experience. He discussed further checks could have described what was likely on with her. 

The loved ones is now advocating for medical professional-led care and warn other mothers and fathers to insist on observing a health care provider, primarily this flu time which is now in whole swing. 

In accordance to the Texas Division of Point out Wellness Companies, there were 20 pediatric flu-similar deaths throughout the condition all through this last flu year. Doctors urge families to get a flu shot proper now, so that it can be efficient. 

“When individuals talk to me ‘my child is sick, and it’s immediately after several hours the place do I go?’ I usually notify them contact ahead and request do you have a supervising medical professional on the premises,” Dr. Lori Hines, pediatrician in Austin claimed. 

Dr. Hines did not address Betty but has analyzed her case. She’s element of Medical professionals for Client Safety, a grassroots corporation raising recognition about medical professional-led treatment especially throughout the pandemic. 

“The medical doctor is the just one who can ascertain – is this ill baby just routinely unwell or is this a youngster that wants a higher degree of treatment,” Dr. Hines described.

Drive for reform

Betty’s household mentioned the nurse practitioner’s supervising medical doctor Michael Cowan was not at the urgent care throughout her procedure. 

In Texas, Dr. Hines defined nurse practitioners have to be supervised by a doctor, but that supervision is loosely outlined.

“You have a supervising medical professional in El Paso, and the nurse practitioners can be as much away as Houston,” Dr. Hines said. 

KXAN Investigator Arezow Doost termed, texted and emailed Dr. Cowan at the urgent care that treated Betty but has not gained solutions to any issues about what happened.

A spokesperson with the Texas Health-related Board explained he can not ensure if there’s an investigation involving the urgent treatment because the info is confidential. 

An lawyer with the Texas Board of Nursing advised KXAN there was a disciplinary order for the nurse practitioner and incorporated further coaching and instruction, due to the fact she did not total professional medical documents. 

The nurse practitioner has not returned a request for remark.

“Any patient reduction is a tragedy, and when we do not know the facts of this individual situation, the proof demonstrates that the care furnished by APRNs (Sophisticated Apply Registered Nurse) is typically as safe or safer than physicians. You will come across anecdotes of misdiagnoses with unlucky outcomes for the two APRNs and physicians. Nonetheless, if you glance at the statistics, people have no higher hazard when dealt with by APRNs,” explained Dr. Cindy Zolnierek, CEO of Texas Nurses Association. 

Betty’s loved ones has shared what took place to her with various lawmakers hoping to see some reform in the urgent treatment technique. 

“They have to basically license as a medical facility in the state of Texas. They have to have the potential to be monitored by the Department of Health and Human Companies,” Wattenbarger stated.

He explained this is just the starting of their combat as they push for justice for their daughter. 

“There has to be staffing specifications for them… a health care provider within just a specified sum of miles from that facility,” Wattenbarger spelled out.