In a recent article, the Wall Street Journal outlines a lawsuit that alleges that computer outages as a result of ransomware attacks led to the staff of an Alabama hospital missing key signs of trouble resulting in a baby’s death. In an article titled “A Hospital Hit by Hackers, a Baby in Distress: The Case of the First Alleged Ransomware Death,” the Wall Street Journal outlines a lawsuit alleging that a ransomware attack on a hospital resulted in the death of a baby due to staff being unable to properly use equipment and notice key warning signs.
The Wall Street Journal writes: When Teiranni Kidd walked into Springhill Medical Center on July 16, 2019, to have her baby, she had no idea the Alabama hospital was deep in the midst of a ransomware attack. For nearly eight days, computers had been disabled on every floor. A real-time wireless tracker that could locate medical staff around the hospital was down. Years of patient health records were inaccessible. And at the nurses’ desk in the labor and delivery unit, medical staff were cut off from the equipment that monitors fetal heartbeats in the 12 delivery rooms. Kidd’s child was born with her umbilical cord wrapped around her neck, a condition that triggers warning signs on the heart monitor when the squeezed cord cuts off the supply of blood and oxygen to the child. Kidd’s daughter was diagnosed with severe brain damage and died nine months later. While the hack was ongoing, fewer hospital officials were monitoring the heart monitors which are usually racked on a large screen at the nurse’s station inside the delivery room.
The hospital’s attending obstetrician Katelyn Parnell texted the nursing manager that had she seen the monitor readout, she would have delivered Kidd’s child via cesarean section. In a text, Dr. Parnell wrote: “I need u to help me understand why I was not notified. This was preventable.” Now, Teiranni Kidd is suing Springhill, alleging that information about her baby’s condition never made it to Dr. Parnell as the ransomware hack removed the extra layer of scrutiny and care that the heart rate monitor at the nurse’s station would have received. If the case is successful, it will be the first time that a death has been confirmed as a direct result of a ransomware attack. Read more at the Wall Street Journal here. Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or contact via secure email at the address firstname.lastname@example.org.
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