The most common types of pediatrician medical malpractice

Pediatricians have the complex job of treating patients from newborns to age 18. The American Academy of Pediatrics has published data that provide some useful insights on medical malpractice statistics.

Common types of pediatric medical malpractice

The five most common medical conditions in malpractice cases are related to:

• Brain-damaged babies: Some cases of birth-related brain injuries are diagnosed immediately upon delivery. Other cases may be a bit more subtle. When pediatricians take over the baby’s care immediately upon birth, they need to be attentive for signs of a brain injury. Studies have shown that therapy and interventions are more effective when they’re started early.

• Meningitis: Meningitis is a dangerous infection of the layers of the brain and spinal cord. In babies and children, the typical signs include fever, throwing up (vomiting), headache, and just overall not feeling well.

• Routine health checks

• Newborn respiratory problems

• Appendicitis: Appendicitis is an inflammation of the appendix, a small organ in the abdomen. Both conditions can be deadly if they are not properly and timely diagnosed and treated.

The most frequent errors cited in lawsuits

The most common errors alleged in pediatric medical malpractice cases include:

• Errors in diagnosis

• Improper performance of a procedure

• Failure to supervise or monitor the patient

• Medication

Why’s there so much malpractice by pediatricians?

Patients in this age range present some unique challenges. The youngest patients can’t express their feelings or what’s wrong. Children and teenagers may be hesitant to share details about some of their activities or behaviors out of fear of getting in trouble.

These are reasons why it’s important to patient safety that pediatricians pay close attention to their patients. This means methodically going through the differential diagnosis process of identifying potential causes that may explain the pediatric patient’s medical condition, rather than rushing the patient and parent out the door.

As a former hospital administrator, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard the saying, “Common things happen commonly.” It’s a terrible idea that stands for the proposition that the most straightforward explanation for an illness or medical condition is usually correct. That can have dire consequences for any patient, let alone a little one.

Close to 30% of pediatric medical malpractice cases involve patient deaths and around 36% have serious, permanent injuries.

In a Texas medical malpractice lawsuit, a pediatrician, other physician, or hospital who causes a serious, permanent injury may be held responsible in court for the significant past and future costs of treating such injuries. Contrary to what many people think, these economic damages aren’t capped by the infamous tort reform legislation of 2003.

Some people believe that there is significant additional time to pursue a medical malpractice case involving a child. That’s only partially true. For children, all claims for damages from birth to age 18 belong to the parents. The general two-year statute of limitations applies to those claims, just like any other claim owned by an adult.

If your child has a serious injury that you believe may have been caused by pediatric malpractice, then contact a top-rated experienced Houston, Texas medical malpractice lawyer for help in evaluating your potential case.

Robert Painter
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Robert Painter

Robert Painter is an award-winning medical malpractice attorney at Painter Law Firm Medical Malpractice Attorneys in Houston, Texas. He is a former hospital administrator who represents patients and family members in medical negligence and wrongful death lawsuits all over Texas. Contact him for a free consultation and strategy session by calling 281-580-8800 or emailing him right now.