Not just the public in Pennsylvania but the entire country is heartbroken by the news that a 12-year-old boy died after an alleged attack on him by so-called bullies from his school. More recent reports of the bullying incident present another possible reason why the young victim didn’t survive his injuries.

NBC 10 Philadelphia reports that the boy died last weekend in the hospital where he had been treated. He was put into an induced coma in order to prevent him from suffering further seizures that resulted from his injuries. Not only was he fighting his injuries, but ultimately had to fight pneumonia that ailed him in the end, too. He was taken off of life support.

When patients are put on ventilators to breathe, though the machine is needed to keep them alive, it can put them at risk of acquiring pneumonia. Particularly to a patient who is already weakened by illness or injury, pneumonia can be a fatal diagnosis.

In many cases, pneumonia is preventable within hospitals. It can be the result of negligence on the part of medical professionals if, for example, the environment where a patient was being treated was not kept properly sterile.

The current upset related to the Pennsylvania child’s death revolves around the students who are accused of beating him up. It is crucial for the community and authorities to focus on the behavior of those students and act accordingly. This tragic story does present an opportunity, however, to discuss the danger of hospital-acquired pneumonia and what medical professionals can do to prevent it from making an already scary situation even scarier.

It can be complex to determine whether a patient’s pneumonia was acquired because of negligence at a hospital. Our medical malpractice firm can help those who suspect that negligence within a medical facility and its workers caused or contributed to injury or death of a loved one.

Source: NBC 10 Philadelphia, “Students Consoled After Boys Alleged ‘Bullying’ Death,” David Chang, March 4, 2013