Monday, July 21, 2008

Ventilator company may be at fault in death of teen during power outage

Ilia Torres and Ariel Acevedo, mother and stepfather of the late Fernando Vargas, grieve over his death.

The Boston Globe originally reported July 19 that Fernando Vargas's death was due to a power outage and the failure of the backup battery for the 15-year-old's ventilator. The teen had cerebral palsy and needed the ventilator to breathe.

On July 20 The Globe reported that the manufacturer of the ventilator connected to Vargas's "has been named in more than a dozen lawsuits and linked to at least two other deaths."

A Camden, N.J., couple sued Pulmonetic Systems Inc. after their 5-year-old son, Ajaron Millner, died July 2, 2002, allegedly due to a malfunction of that company’s ventilator.

And in April, a coroner’s jury ruled that a faulty ventilator made by the same company was responsible for the death of 2-year-old Quinn Kephart of Hopedale, Ill., the Pantagraph daily reported.