Pediatricians And Malpractice

At Powell Law, one of our areas of practice revolves around medical malpractice. Pediatricians may be held liable for injuries caused by their errors and omissions in the treatment of their young patients. A pediatrician may be liable for medical malpractice for a failure to diagnose, for a misdiagnosis, or for prescribing the improper or incorrect treatment. Pediatricians may also be held liable for the negligent prescription of a medication or other medical devices.

Studies by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) indicate that one-third of all Pediatricians And Malpracticepediatricians will be sued at least once during their careers. Because pediatric mistakes typically cause significant injuries, lawsuits against pediatricians for medical malpractice tend to be more expensive to defend than lawsuits involving other types of medical practitioners.

A cause of action for medical malpractice by a pediatrician in Pennsylvania has four main elements:

  • Duty: Pediatricians owe patients a duty of care in the diagnosis and treatment of illnesses to the same ability as other pediatricians.
  • Breach: Pediatricians may breach this duty by failing to meet the standard of carethrough misdiagnosis or mistreatment of a patient.
  • Causation: A child patient must be injured as the result of a pediatrician’s breach of duty, and the pediatrician could or should have foreseen such injuries.
  • Damages: The child’s injuries and damages, such as medical expenses, emotional distress, or other harm must be compensable to recover.

According to the AAP, meningitis is the most common illness associated with pediatric malpractice cases in the country. Meningitis is often difficult to diagnose in children, and thus results in a higher number of pediatric malpractice lawsuits.

Appendicitis is also often at the root of a medical malpractice lawsuit. 27% of infants suffering from appendicitis are misdiagnosed by pediatricians. Female patients are particularly susceptible to misdiagnosis since their symptoms are often attributed to urinary tract infection or pelvic inflammatory disease.

As with a cause of action for meningitis, a lawsuit for appendicitis often results from a failure to properly diagnose. Thus, the pediatrician fails to provide proper treatment, and the illness evolves to a much more difficult stage to treat or reverse.

Errors involving medication constitute more than five percent of pediatric malpractice cases. Errors may arise from ordering, administration (wrong drug, dose, timing or technique), transcription, or dispensing. According to the AAP, physicians are at fault 69% of the time, nurses 13% of the time, and pharmacies 8% of the time for medication errors.

Despite advances in technology, medical mistakes and malpractice are still all too common. If you or a loved one has suffered any type of injury resulting from an incident of medical malpractice or mistake, contact Powell Law at call (570) 961-0777. The consultation is FREE and you don’t pay anything unless we win. Our attorneys, past and present, have represented medical malpractice victims for 110 years.

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