What to Know About Pediatric Malpractice
Children, just like all patients, deserve high-quality care. When a pediatric patient is injured as a result of a medical professional’s actions, it is important that parents understand what avenues are available for seeking justice and compensation. Here, the Baltimore medical malpractice attorneys at Peter Angelos Law discuss what pediatric malpractice is and how to pursue a lawsuit against a pediatrician.
What Is Pediatric Malpractice?
Pediatric malpractice is any malpractice claim brought forth as a result of a doctor’s actions towards a minor. Like any malpractice claim, the following four elements must be proven in a pediatric malpractice claim:
- A patient-doctor relationship existed,
- The healthcare professional in question breached their duty of care to the patient,
- The patient suffered emotional or physical damages, and
- The damages were the direct result of the doctor’s breach of duty.
What are the Most Common Pediatric Malpractice Claims?
While a pediatric malpractice claim can arise as a result of any harmful mistake, there are a few illnesses and procedures more likely to be mentioned in pediatric malpractice claims.
Meningitis Pediatric Malpractice Claims
Meningitis is the inflammation of the fluid and membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord. Most cases of meningitis are caused by a viral infection, but bacterial, parasitic, and fungal infections can also cause the reaction. Viral meningitis can often improve without treatment, but other forms can be life-threatening if improperly diagnosed or left untreated.
Most early meningitis symptoms mimic the common flu, such as severe headaches, stiff neck, and sleepiness. In infants, meningitis can be especially challenging to diagnose, as symptoms often include high fever, constant crying, and stiffness. However, accurate and early diagnosis is imperative in protecting the health of the child.
Appendicitis Pediatric Malpractice Claims
Appendicitis is the inflammation of the appendix. It is associated with sudden and sharp abdominal pain, vomiting, and fever. While appendicitis is common, it can often be overlooked or misdiagnosed, especially in infants and female patients. If the patient is misdiagnosed or mistreated, the illness can become life-threatenning.
Medication Errors Malpractice Claims
Medication errors can have noxious effects on patients of all ages, but children are especially at risk if they are prescribed the wrong type or dosage of a medication. Medication errors can include mistakes in the type of drug prescribed, incorrect dosage, improper administration instructions, or incorrect drug dispensed.
What Do I Do if I Think My Child is a Victim of Pediatric Malpractice?
If you believe that your child’s injury or suffering is a result of medical malpractice, it is important that you seek legal counsel immediately. It is not uncommon for pediatric malpractice claims to be filed years after the incident, as many long-term health conditions are not apparent until then. A medical malpractice attorney can assist you in collecting the records and documentation needed to support your pediatric malpractice claim, even if a significant amount of time has passed since the incident.
How Much is Rewarded to Victims of Pediatric Malpractice?
While the elements to be proven are the same as all other medical malpractice claims, pediatric malpractice claims often result in a much higher amount of compensation rewarded to victims. This is because medical mistakes or misdiagnoses made in adolescence often have enduring ramifications on an individual’s quality of life.
Contact an Experienced Baltimore Medical Malpractice Attorney Today
Parents trust pediatricians and other healthcare professionals to take care of their children. However, children can fall victim to medical malpractice. In many pediatric malpractice cases, victims face long-lasting effects that can detrimentally change their quality of life. If your child has suffered as a result of pediatric medical malpractice, contact our team of experienced attorneys at Peter Angelos Law today.