Pediatricians specialize in the treatment of infants and children in general medicine.
- How Pediatricians Serve the Needs of Their Patients
- Statistics on Pediatric Malpractice Claims and Lawsuits
- A Study on Pediatric Medical Mistakes
- Harm Due to Pediatric Malpractice Cases
- Pediatric Malpractice Lawsuits
- Sample Illinois Pediatric Negligence Jury Awards & Settlements
- Hire a Medical Malpractice Attorney to Investigate Your Chicago Pediatric Malpractice Lawsuit
They examine medical records, review patients’ physical condition, and are responsible for immunizations, prescribing medications, ordering diagnostic testing, and referring patients to specialists whenever a condition such as pelvic inflammatory disease is beyond their abilities or responsibilities.
These doctors are the first contact for most families concerning their children’s health. Their decisions can have devastating consequences such as medication errors or permanent disability.
Was harm caused to your child due to pediatric malpractice or other medical error? If so, the personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC can help you legally recoup the costs associated with the medical expenses, pain and suffering, and diminished quality of living.
Contact our law firm today at (888) 424-5757 for a free review of your pediatric medical malpractice lawsuit with our Chicago medical malpractice lawyers if pediatric negligence caused harm to your child.
How Pediatricians Serve the Needs of Their Patients
Medical care during a child’s early development is essential. The decisions that the child’s parents and doctors make will have a lasting effect.
Pediatricians manage immunizations, physical examinations, and diagnosis of several medical conditions ranging from infectious diseases to developmental problems to chronic health conditions.
Their responsibilities can include the following.
- Working with expecting mothers in conjunction with their gynecologists to monitor the fetal heart rate of the unborn baby and assist in the delivery process
- Performing physical examinations from birth through the child’s development into an adult
- Pediatricians manage the immunization of children from diseases such as tetanus, polio, measles, hepatitis, and the flu
- Identifying and managing the treatment of developmental delay and disorders
- Diagnosing infections and communicable illnesses
- Treating Common injuries and referring children to appropriate specialists
- Managing chronic conditions in children
- Communicating with parents about their children’s health conditions and treatment plans
Statistics on Pediatric Malpractice Claims and Lawsuits
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), more than 12 million children are seen in the emergency room each year for unintentional injuries.
According to a study by Johns Hopkins University, more than five percent of medical malpractice lawsuits in the United States are for pediatric care.
The study, which was published in the New England Journal of Medicine, looked at data from 2005 to 2014 and found that there were 784 medical malpractice cases involving children.
In nearly all of the cases, the child’s parents were the plaintiffs. The most common pediatric medical malpractice lawsuits were birth injuries, brain injuries, cancer misdiagnosis, and cerebral palsy.
A Study on Pediatric Medical Mistakes
According to a new study, about one in every 300 children in the U.S. will suffer from a medical mistake. That’s the first attempt to quantify how often medical errors occur in pediatric care.
The study, published Monday in the journal Pediatrics, found that most errors occurred during surgeries and other invasive procedures. Patient factors such as age, weight, and health status played a role in the likelihood of an error occurring.
While the study found that the overall rate of medical mistakes in pediatric care is relatively low, the researchers say it’s still important for parents and caregivers to be aware of the potential for errors and to ask questions if they have concerns.
According to the study, medical malpractice cases involving children under 18 years old account for about $1.4 billion in payouts each year. And while most malpractice cases are settled out of court, they can still be costly for families, both financially and emotionally.
Harm Due to Pediatric Malpractice Cases
Any harm caused to a pediatric patient due to medical malpractice is considered a pediatric medical malpractice lawsuit.
The harm caused to a child by a common illness due to medical malpractice can be devastating to the child, the family, and the community.
If medical malpractice caused harm to your child, you have the right to pursue legal action. A medical malpractice attorney can help you understand your options and take steps to protect your child’s rights.
Pediatric Malpractice Lawsuits
Since pediatricians are such an instrumental part of most children’s medical care, they are also more likely to face a pediatric malpractice lawsuit than many other types of doctors. One in three pediatricians will face a malpractice claim in their lifetimes.
The contributing factors to most pediatric malpractice lawsuits are patient assessment issues and wrong drug decisions.
The contributing factors in these pediatric malpractice claims are medical misdiagnosis or delay in treatment, but there are several other ways that pediatricians can be found negligent.
These can include the following:
Failure to Order Tests in a Timely Fashion
Conditions such as viral meningitis can be fatal if they are not quickly detected and treated. One of the reasons that viral meningitis is so severe is that it is often confused with bacterial meningitis. The prescribed medications cannot slow or stop the swelling inside of the brain that causes massive brain damage.
In other instances, the delayed diagnosis of a condition such as appendicitis can result in the rupture of the appendix or another infected organ.
Failure to Refer Child Patients to a Specialist
There are moments when a pediatrician has to be willing to admit that the medical concern is beyond the scope of their ability and refer the patient to a physician who can provide more specialized care.
Refusal or failure to do this in a timely fashion can make conditions much worse than they need to be and even lead to the patient’s death in the most serious of pediatric malpractice cases.
One example is the negligent medical refusal to refer a child to a specialist if a child has broken a bone and the doctor chooses not to seek the opinion of an orthopedist before deciding on a treatment plan. If the bone doesn’t heal properly, it may lead to developmental problems in the affected limb.
Misinterpreting Test Results
Misreading test results can lead to misdiagnosing conditions, which creates a chain of events sure to harm the patient. The mistake could result in a condition never being diagnosed or a false-positive diagnosis.
Children are much more susceptible to overdose, so pediatricians need to make sure that they prescribe the right medication and communicate clear instructions to parents about how and when to administer the drugs.
The information needs to include the medication, the dose, and the possible side effects that the child may encounter. Communicating how the parents should respond to an adverse reaction or overdose may also reduce the severity of common injuries that result from the child’s medication error.
Common Injuries During or Following Birth
Neonatal specialists may be present for or assist in the delivery of the child. They must take whatever actions are needed to respond to any child’s complications.
Failure to do so can result in medical errors, such as the development of cerebral palsy when a jaundiced baby is not treated promptly.
Failure to Notice Fetal Distress
Neonatal specialists monitor the fetus throughout the mother’s pregnancy. They need to determine whether the child displays any signs of distress that might require an emergency birth or some form of obstetrical treatment intervention. The failure to notice and respond to these signs can lead to severe brain damage or miscarriage.
Sample Illinois Pediatric Negligence Jury Awards & Settlements
$2,550,000 Settlement; Pediatrician Malpractice; Cook County, Illinois
This pediatric malpractice case involved a failure to diagnose by the attending doctor. The parents of the kid, who was six at the time, took him to see the pediatrician. They were concerned because he had a bump in his leg.
The doctor looked at it. What happened next was a subject of controversy. The parents claimed the doctor told them nothing was the matter and the issue would resolve itself on its own.
They said the pediatrician diagnosed it as hemangioma and stated the kid was fine. The pediatrician claimed that he referred the child to a radiologist to have further study on the lump. Whatever the case, a little under one year later the child’s pain and lethargy increased. The parents soon found out that he had cancer. The child died not long after these developments.
The parents sued the pediatrician, radiologist, and treating facility. The defendants took turns pointing their fingers at one another. In the end, this could not do them any good. They figured that court would not either, so they chose to settle. The family received $2.55 million-$1.15 million from the pediatrician; $1.32 million from the radiologist; and $80,000 from the facility.
$4,000,000 Verdict; Pediatrician Medical Negligence; Chicago, Illinois
This case involved an important back-and-forth between a pediatrician and the child’s mom. The little boy was not eating or sleeping well just a little over a week after he was born. The mom called the pediatrician who instructed her to go to the ER.
She did and the staff did x-rays then discharged them after finding nothing wrong. Yet, the kid’s status did not change so she phoned the pediatrician again. He told her nothing was wrong.
Undeterred, she brought her child back to the ER. The staff did not review his medical history or conduct proper testing. Once again, the child was discharged. After the family arrived home, the boy’s condition worsened.
He appeared blue. His breathing deteriorated. The mother called the pediatrician and he told her to wait until normal business hours.
She did that and then returned. However, by that time it was too late. They could not revive him. The family sued the doctors and the medical facility. They claimed that the defendants misdiagnosed him, negligently treated him, and ignored substantial medical signs.
The matter went all the way to trial because the defendants argued they acted properly. However, the jury held that they did not. They awarded the family a sizeable verdict for the wrongful death of the little boy.
Hire a Medical Malpractice Attorney to Investigate Your Chicago Pediatric Malpractice Lawsuit
Call our law firm at (888) 424-5757 if you believe that your pediatrician failed to meet this standard and resulted in severe injuries to your child. We would like the opportunity to conduct a more thorough investigation into the medical negligence matter.
Medical malpractice claims are more difficult to win due to the legal protections many medical providers enjoy. Still, our lawyers have many years of experience and successful history of winning favorable judgments on behalf of our clients.
Contact us today to be connected with one of our award-winning Chicago pediatrician medical malpractice attorneys. We can evaluate your case completely free of charge.
We guarantee our results by working only on a contingency basis, so you are assured that if we cannot secure compensation on your behalf, our services will be completely free of charge.
All confidential or sensitive information you share with our legal team remains private through an attorney-client relationship.