If My Child Was Misdiagnosed, Is That Pediatric Malpractice? 

When babies and young children are unwell, they simply cannot articulate the signs and symptoms they are experiencing. Even when your child describes their symptoms, determining what is wrong might be difficult for you as a parent. “I have a headache” or “My tummy hurts” might imply various things, so we rely on doctors to identify symptoms, diagnose accurately, and implement an effective treatment strategy. 

Unfortunately, even though physicians are always meticulous and thorough, they are still human, and all humans can make mistakes. Sometimes, your child’s doctor may not meet this duty of care. Medical misdiagnosis is, in fact, one of the most prevalent types of negligence among pediatricians and other clinicians who care for infants and children. This tragedy usually occurs when the kid is left with the weight of difficulties created by pediatric misdiagnosis, which can follow them for the rest of their lives. You can talk to a medical malpractice attorney to learn more. 

Medical Misdiagnosis in Children and Infants 

Medical misdiagnosis is a huge problem that affects the whole medical community; however, it is especially troublesome when the victims are youngsters. A survey of pediatricians revealed a startling incidence of misdiagnosis. Fifty-four percent of pediatricians who gave self-reported data admitted to making a diagnostic mistake at least once or twice monthly. Furthermore, 45 percent of respondents reported diagnostic mistakes that affected patients at least once or twice yearly.

What causes pediatric misdiagnosis 

The following are the top reasons for medical misdiagnosis in pediatrics, according to the doctors in the study sample:

  • Inadequate evaluation of a child’s chart
  • Failure to do a thorough physical examination
  • Failure to get a complete medical history
  • Unsatisfactory care coordination among primary care physicians, specialists, and others engaged in diagnosis and treatment.
  • Failure to pursue abnormal diagnostic testing 

Common conditions that pediatricians misdiagnose 

Meningitis and appendicitis are the most often misdiagnosed illnesses among children and newborns in the United States, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). The most often reported diagnostic mistake in the study mentioned above was clinicians misdiagnosing viral diseases as bacterial infections. Other types of misdiagnosis commonly mentioned were drug side effects, psychiatric problems, and appendicitis. 

Potential results of a pediatric misdiagnosis 

Misdiagnosing a child’s medical condition can be extremely harmful, resulting in long-term consequences and, in severe cases, death. Misdiagnosis of meningitis, for example, can result in lasting brain damage, leading to cognitive disabilities, developmental delays, motor skill issues, and more. Similarly, misdiagnosing appendicitis can result in a ruptured appendix that pours hazardous fluid into the belly. If clinicians misdiagnose this life-threatening illness in babies, it can result in hypoxic brain damage, cardiac arrest, and death. 

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