Failure to Diagnose Hirschsprung
The Chicago Hirschsprung’s Disease attorneys of Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC specialize in representing clients whose children suffered serious injuries or death due to the failure of doctors to diagnose this rare condition, in which a newborn suffers from bowel contraction leading to intestinal blockages. While this is a rare condition, the symptoms are easy to detect and available treatment options make it possible to allow children with the disease to live normal and independent lives. Whenever a doctor misses a diagnosis and fails to treat a life-threatening congenital disorder, the parents may file a lawsuit for malpractice or wrongful death.
Symptoms of Hirschsprung’s Disease
About 25% of all intestinal blockages in newborn infants are the result of Hirschsprung’s Disease, which is caused by the absence of ganglion nerve cells in the large intestine that is responsible for preventing contractions or narrowing in the bowel. When the bowel contracts, it results in the buildup of material in the rest of the intestines and the pressure can lead to a ruptured bowel or perforated intestine. The symptoms of this unique disorder are quite noticeable and include the following.
- Irregular bowel movements. The average infant has between two and five bowel movements every day, depending on whether the mother chooses to breastfeed or place the child on formula. When breastfeeding, the child typically moves his or her bowels more frequently. Children suffering from HD will not have nearly as many bowel movements because of the contraction of the large intestine.
- Enlarged colon. The buildup of waste in the intestine will cause it to swell and distend, and this becomes noticeable as the child suffers from distension of the abdomen. This enlarged area is due to the inability of waste material to exit the body and one of the most telling symptoms of the disease.
- Vomiting. This is the body’s way of eliminating unwanted materials and when infants suffer from extended constipation, they will present with projectile vomiting.
- An absence of meconium. A dark green material called meconium is what forms the first bowel movement any child passes and this normally occurs within the first 48 hours following birth. Failure of the baby to pass meconium is another telltale symptom of HD.
If the buildup of waste results in high amounts of pressure inside the intestine, it can result in perforation or rupture. These are serious conditions that can result in massive internal bleeding, septic shock, and death. Our Chicago Hirschsprung’s Disease attorneys are award-winning lawyers who regularly recover compensation on behalf of clients when physicians allow conditions such as HD to go undiagnosed and untreated.
Treatment of Hirschsprung’s Disease
HD must be treated surgically and there are several options available, depending on the severity of the disease and other risk factors. Most of the procedures begin with a colostomy to clear a path through with the child can pass bowel movements followed by a procedure several years later which reconnects the intestine with the anus to allow for normal bowel function. As children suffering from Hirschsprung’s Disease mature, they will be placed on high fiber diets and prescribed enemas and laxatives to assist with symptoms of constipation and to prevent intestinal blockages. It is possible for people suffering from HD to live normal lives with regular monitoring and precautionary measures.
Failure to Diagnose is Negligent
It is the duty of every doctor to properly diagnose and treat patients in a professional manner and a missed diagnosis can qualify as medical negligence or malpractice. We often rely on the testimony of doctors and surgeons who have decades of experience to establish whether your physician acted in accordance with the duty of care, which in simple terms is how any doctor in a similar position might have acted. Due to the visibility of the symptoms associated with HD, it is unreasonable that any doctor should fail to properly test for the disease when the symptoms have presented and your doctor may be liable for any ensuing injuries or your child’s death.
Contact us today to arrange a risk-free case review so that we can gather all of the information required to launch a detailed investigation into your child’s injuries or death. During your consultation, we will be happy to answer your questions and review your legal options while letting you know what you can expect should you proceed with your claim. Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC has recovered compensation on behalf of thousands of clients across Illinois by filing medical malpractice lawsuits on their behalf and we are sure that we can maximize your financial recovery.
If our Chicago Hirschsprung’s Disease attorneys are unable to secure damages in your behalf for the payment of your medical bills, out of pocket expenses, pain, and suffering or wrongful death, our services will be completely free of charge.