There’s nothing more heartbreaking and tragic than the suffering of children. It’s even worse when this suffering is the result of something beyond the control of a parent – but it’s particularly egregious when medical staff like pediatricians or pediatric nurses make a costly mistake in misdiagnosing a condition. In all too many cases, these instances could even lead to the death of the child – a crushing blow to the psyche of any parent. Here’s what you need to know about pediatric malpractice cases, what their common causes are, and what to do if your own child has suffered as a result.
The Most Common Cases
There is any number of ways that pediatric malpractice can harm the health of a child, but there are some more common forms that this medical negligence can take, especially when it comes to misdiagnosing conditions. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, meningitis is the most common illness that goes hand in hand with pediatric malpractice, especially in the United States; while the illness can be difficult for pediatricians to diagnose, the harm that can be done to an infant, as a result, is often progressive to the point of not being reversible if the medical professional does not eventually diagnose the child’s illness correctly in time.
Another common case is appendicitis, especially among young girls and female infants, as the symptoms of appendicitis can easily ape the symptoms of conditions like urinary tract infections or pelvic inflammatory disease; as a result, the AAP says that 27 percent of appendicitis cases in infants start out misdiagnosed before finally being identified correctly. Even once appendicitis is finally diagnosed correctly, the condition could have progressed to the point where treating it has become a much more complicated matter in the same way that meningitis can.
Finally, errors made in medication prescribed to an infant or small child are also common, with the AAP saying that more than five percent of medical negligence in treating children is a direct result of one of any number of ways related to medication errors. Whether it’s incorrect ordering, errors in administration regarding the wrong technique, timing, dose, or the wrong drug altogether, faulty dispensing, or incorrect transcription, medication errors can have serious and even life-threatening effects on a young child. Doctors are at fault a majority of the time at 69 percent, according to the AAP.
What to Do
If your child has suffered injury from misdiagnosis of a condition, errors in medication, or any other type of medical negligence, you owe it to him or her to talk with a qualified pediatric negligence lawyer immediately. You need to protect the rights of your child to be given reliable medical care, and if it does turn out that medical staff was responsible for the injuries your son or daughter sustained, these medical professionals need to be held accountable.
It’s as much about receiving compensation for your child’s pain and suffering as it is to ensure that such events don’t happen again in the future. The punitive measures that a successful pediatric malpractice claim can levy against a medical staff member found liable for negligence can act as a deterrent, not only to the doctor in question but to every medical professional that learns of the medical negligence claim. While the hope exists that pediatricians, pediatric nurses, and any other medical staff involved in the provision of care to children would be vigilant at all times, sometimes the only way to ensure that children are safe is to ensure they’re too scared to make a mistake in the future.