Mom of Brooklyn girl who died of pneumonia says doctor misdiagnosed case

Monday, February 26, 2018 05:32PM
Reporter Michelle Charlesworth reports on seven-year old A'Mari Murriel-Johnson, who died at Brooklyn's Woodhull Hospital on January 14.

BEDFORD-STUYVESANT, Brooklyn - The heartbroken mother of a little girl who died from pneumonia is lashing out, claiming a hospital misdiagnosed the case.

Seven-year old A'Mari Murriel-Johnson died at Brooklyn's Woodhull Hospital on January 14.

Mom Kareema Murriel said it happened less than 24 hours after Dr. Alexander Adotey failed to properly treat her for strep throat.

She said she warned Dr. Adotey and nurses that her daughter had the contagious infection in 2016 and 2017 and insisted on a strep test instead of operating under the assumption that it was the flu.

Murriel said the doctor responded rudely.

"He told me, 'No, your daughter doesn't have strep throat,'" she said.

Instead, A'Mari was prescribed Tamiflu, and Kareema said she spent the next two days vomiting. Her temperature spiked to 102, and her mom rushed her back to the hospital.

"He scolded me like I was his child," she said. "'Why would you go to the nurses and tell the nurses that I didn't do a strep culture on your child. I examined her throat.' I said, 'Yes, but you didn't do a strep test.'"

That test came back positive for strep the next day, the same day A'Mari died.

Lawyers representing Murriel sent a letter to the state Department of Health, formally requesting an investigation into the hospital's handling of the case.

"She should've been given penicillin, not Tamiflu," attorney Sandford Rubenstein said. "We believe this was a clear case of negligence at Woodhull Hospital, and we believe this should never have happened. In fact, she did not have to die."

Health system officials said Dr. Adotey is in good standing and has an 18-year history at the location with no grievances.

"The untimely death of any child is always tragic," NYC Health + Hospitals/Woodhull said in a statement. "Our heartfelt thoughts are with the family."

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