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Medical Malpractice in Pediatric Cases

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Many would argue that the only thing worse than being ill is having an ill child. So when your child falls sick, it is of utmost importance that your child gets the best care possible. Unfortunately, medical malpractice does not only occur in cases of adult illnesses.

Commonly Missed Illnesses Among Children

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When looking at medical malpractice in pediatric cases, misdiagnosis is one common type of malpractice. Misdiagnosis occurs when the doctor incorrectly diagnoses the child with a disease or illness. Two common illnesses that are often mistaken for others in children are meningitis and appendicitis.

Meningitis is an illness that tends to be hard to diagnose in a pediatric setting. Many times, the symptoms can look like that of a cold or flu, including headache and sudden fever. However, unlike a cold or flu, meningitis can cause the victim’s health to deteriorate rapidly, and it is important that it is caught and treated as soon as possible.

Appendicitis is also an illness that tends to be misdiagnosed in children due to its similarity in symptoms to other illnesses such as pelvic inflammatory disease and urinary tract infection. Appendicitis requires surgery in order to prevent severe consequences, and often if it is misdiagnosed, this surgery will not occur, and the issues will become much more difficult to reverse.

What Must Be Proven

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Proving pediatric medical malpractice is not much different than proving the same case for adults. There are two things that need to be proven:

  1. The medical provider was negligent in some aspect of the patient’s treatment. This might mean misdiagnosing, prescribing two different medicines that don’t work well together, or committing preventable mistakes.
  2. The patient’s harm was directly caused by this negligence. If, for example, a doctor failed to diagnose a patient’s appendicitis, and the patient then twisted her ankle, there would be virtually no way to link the injury to the negligence. However, if the doctor failed to diagnose the appendicitis, and this resulted in three critical surgeries rather than one to deal with the appendix, and three months of recovery rather than a week, the case would be much easier to link to negligence.

Types of Harm Resulting from Pediatric Medical Malpractice

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Also, as in any medical malpractice case, there are three different types of harm that can occur in result of the negligence.

  1. Physical: This would be the most apparent type of harm to see in a case such as this. This would be the pain of furthering symptoms or extra surgery that should have been prevented.
  2. Mental: Most physical pains have mental impacts as well. If someone is recovering for twelve weeks instead the two that was expected, this pain will go beyond the physical realm. This will affect the person’s overall life and well-being as he will be restricted from doing things he enjoys. Particularly for a child, long hospital stays and an inability to play freely for weeks or months can be mentally and emotionally taxing.
  3. Financial: Extra surgeries and recovery times cost more money, as will future medical treatments if they are required. A person should not be asked to shell out this much money for their doctor’s mistake.

Help from an Indiana Medical Malpractice Lawyer

If your child was a victim of pediatric medical malpractice, you could be entitled to compensation for the physical, mental, and financial pain experienced throughout the ordeal. Call Hensley legal Group today to get the compensation you deserve, or contact us online.