Distinguishing Pediatric Malpractice from Normal Medical Issues

When children suffer from medical issues they and their families must face many challenges throughout the course of their lives. If those medical issues could have been avoided with proper care had a medical professional not failed to properly address the condition, a Pediatric Malpractice suit could be in order. However, before investing the time, money, and effort into pursuing a Pediatric Malpractice case it is important to make sure that you truly do have a case. In order to do this, it is important to be able to distinguish pediatric malpractice from normal medical issues.

The Fine Line Between Pediatric Malpractice & Normal Medical Issues

Many illnesses and conditions result in the same general outcome; however, how they occur has a significant weight in determining whether the case is an issue of malpractice or unavoidable medical conditions. There are some instances that are clear malpractice issues, which are often called “never” events. These are actions that should never happen and when they do it presents a compelling indication that the child’s subsequent health issues could be due to pediatric malpractice. For example doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals should…

  • Never give the wrong drug.
  • Never give the wrong medication dosage.
  • Never administer treatment to the wrong patient
  • Never use the wrong route for treatment.

If any of these “nevers” can be proven, then there is a clear opportunity for a malpractice case. In many instances, when such cases are discovered they are resolved immediately. However, in other instances where the health care provider’s actions are not clearly wrong, it may take more to prove negligence.

Proving Negligence and the Standard Care

In Pediatric Malpractice cases it must be proven that the health care provider was negligent in care administered. With any patient, there is a certain standard of care that must be met. So, to show negligence the health care provider would have to not meet that standard. Both the plaintiff and defendant must present their arguments according to this standard. This can become tricky for both parties, seeing as the standard of care can be impacted by different variables. Some of the most common variables include:

  • Previous medical issues
  • Previous diagnoses
  • Undetectable medical issues
  • Non-disclosed/unreported activities or accidents

It could be found that even with an adverse outcome, a health care provider’s actions were in alignment with the standard of care. On the other hand, a negligent action could lead to lifelong or life-ending medical issues that could have been avoided.

Get Appropriate Assistance From Qualified Legal Experts

In proving a case, having a knowledgeable witness who is an expert in pediatric care is key. It is best if the witness is in the same field and of the same if not greater expertise as the physician in question. This witness has the credibility and knowledge to determine if appropriate measures were taken with a specific case, as well as the ability to voice it under oath at trial. Along with an expert witness, having a skilled attorney who specializes in medical malpractice is also essential. Though other attorneys have the ability to represent you in a trial, a lawyer who specializes in such cases will have the critical knowledge of the law, as well as a background in and experience with similar cases. Therefore, a malpractice lawyer may be able to give you a stronger chance of winning your case.

Though pediatric malpractice and normal medical issues can produce the same results, knowing and proving how those results occurred sets the two occurrences worlds apart. If you believe that your child’s health issues may be due to pediatric malpractice, contact McGehee ☆ Chang, Landgraf, Feiler for a free consultation to discuss your options.