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State: Stony Brook responsible for death

October 9, 2008 4:11:44 PM PDT
The state Department of Health says Stony Brook University Medical Center is to blame for the death of a young boy.Officials say the hospital failed to diagnose a heart condition in 6-year-old William Gonzalez, from Mastic. He died on September 11, 2007, of an enlarged heart last year. The boy's parents brought him to the hospital several times, but he was treated for reflux instead.

The report cited the hospital for failing to check his heart until it was too late. The hospital has reportedly begun its own review of the case.

"We take this situation very seriously and we will work with the Department of Health to respond to the concerns identified in the report," hospital spokeswoman Lauren Sheprow told Newsday. "We are thoroughly committed to delivering the highest quality of care."

According to the newspaper, William began vomiting, was tired and unable to keep food down beginning in August of 2007, shortly after beginning first grade. His parents took him to Brookhaven Memorial Hospital, where he was reportedly diagnosed with gastrointestinal reflux.

He was referred to Stony Brook, where he was repeatedly treated for stomach problems, according to the paper. It was not until September 7, four days before his death, that William received an abdominal X-ray, which revealed the enlarged heart, according to the report.

The Gonzalez family plans to sue the hospital.

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WEB PRODUCED BY: Bill King

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