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April 13, 2023

What Is Pediatric Malpractice?

Pediatric malpractice occurs when a child suffers harm because of inadequate or improper medical care. When you take your child to the doctor’s office or hospital, you expect your child to receive the care he or she needs. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen. Doctors in all specialties make mistakes; and, sadly, this includes pediatricians. 

If you have reason to believe that your child is the victim of inadequate or improper medical care, talk to an attorney about filing a claim for pediatric malpractice. Filing a claim allows you to recover financial compensation not only for the costs of your child’s medical care, but for various other losses as well. An experienced pediatric malpractice lawyer at Mandell, Boisclair & Mandell, Ltd. can help you understand if you have a claim; and, if you do, your lawyer can take legal action to recover compensation on your family’s behalf.

7 Common Examples of Pediatric Malpractice 

What constitutes pediatric malpractice? Here are seven common examples: 

1. Failure to Accurately Diagnose the Underlying Condition

Failure to diagnose is a common form of pediatric malpractice. Too often, pediatricians fail to identify young patients’ medical conditions. As a result, these conditions are left untreated, or improperly treated and this often leads to unnecessary injuries, harm, pain, discomfort, complications, and costs. With many common childhood conditions like appendicitis and meningitis, the consequences of failure to diagnose can be devastating. 

2. Misdiagnosis 

Along with the failure to diagnose, misdiagnosis is another type of diagnostic error that is far too common in the pediatric setting. When a pediatrician misdiagnoses a child’s medical condition, the consequences of the mistake can be severe. Not only does the child not receive the treatment he or she needs, but the misdiagnosis can result in the child receiving unnecessary (and potentially dangerous) treatment as well. 

3. Delayed Diagnosis 

Delayed diagnosis is also a common form of pediatric malpractice. Pediatricians must perform physical exams and order the tests needed to assess their patients’ conditions. If they fail to do so, and if their failure results in a child’s condition going untreated or improperly treated, this can justify a claim for pediatric malpractice.

4. Medication Errors 

Medication errors can also take many forms, including:

  • Overdose or underdose 
  • Prescribing the wrong medication 
  • Failure to consider the risk of an adverse drug interaction
  • Failure to consider the risk of an adverse reaction

Improperly prescribing or administering medication to a child can create risks and cause harm. Cardiovascular, neurological, and other risks and harm are all very real concerns in many cases. Tragically, medication errors can prove fatal in some cases as well. 

5. Improper Treatment 

Treatment errors are also common in the pediatric setting. While treatment errors can be dangerous for patients of all ages, they can be particularly dangerous for children who may not be as capable of coping with their doctors’ mistakes. 

6. Failure to Monitor 

Pediatricians and other specialists will often need to carefully monitor their young patients during the treatment and recovery processes. This monitoring ensures that if something goes wrong unexpectedly, the child will be able to receive the additional treatment he or she needs as soon as possible. When a child’s condition needs to be monitored, failure to provide adequate monitoring can constitute pediatric malpractice. 

7. Surgery and Anesthesia Malpractice 

Surgical errors are a risk for patients of all ages. These mistakes can involve errors ranging from performing procedures on the wrong side of the body to leaving surgical supplies and tools in the patient’s body. Anesthesia errors are a very real risk as well.  When administering anesthesia to children, doctors must be careful to consider all pertinent risk factors and administer the appropriate dosage. 

Talk to a Pediatric Malpractice Lawyer in Providence for FREE

If you have questions or concerns about the quality of medical care your child received at a Rhode Island pediatrician’s office, hospital, or other medical facility, contact Mandell, Boisclair & Mandell, Ltd. for a FREE case evaluation. Our lawyers represent families in pediatric malpractice claims statewide. 

To learn about your family’s legal rights in a FREE and confidential consultation, please call (401) 273-8330 or request an appointment online today.