Types of Pediatric Malpractice

When it comes to pediatric malpractice, there are numerous different categories. While each type involves some form of negligence on the part of a medical professional, it’s important to understand the type of pediatric malpractice at play in your child’s situation in order to determine the medical experts and other information necessary to help build your case. Let’s take a look at several of the most common types of pediatric malpractice.

Childbirth Injuries

By far, childbirth injuries or birth injuries account for the lion’s share of medical malpractice cases involving injured children. During delivery and pregnancy, there’s a chance of injury to the fetus due to a doctor’s, nurse’s or other medical professional’s negligence or failure to adhere to proper medical standards. Examples of such injuries include paralysis, palsy, learning, and developmental disabilities, traumatic brain injuries, and bone fractures. In addition to harm to the baby, childbirth injuries can also lead to the mother becoming injured.

Even if the medical professional doesn’t cause direct harm to the fetus or the mother, malpractice can still occur if an ectopic pregnancy, birth defect, contagious disease, or medical condition goes undiagnosed. There are also instances where the medical professional neglects to anticipate birthing complications that result from the baby becoming tangled in the umbilical cord, the baby’s weight or failing to perform a C-section when one is deemed necessary.


Besides an undiagnosed or underappreciated birth complication, condition or defect, pediatric malpractice can also be the result of a misdiagnosis. Such a misdiagnosis could cause the child to receive treatments or medication ill-suited for the actual condition, defect, or complication. There’s also the possibility that failing to recognize a condition could severely narrow the window of time needed to treat the condition before it leads to death or other complications.

Errors in Medication

A doctor or nurse who fails to administer the proper medication to a child incorrectly administers medication, or doesn’t recognize when medications could negatively react with each other is in danger of committing a medication error. While the most common examples of medication errors occur when a patient is given the wrong dosage, they can also result when a patient is given the wrong type of medication.

Surgical Errors

Another type of malpractice is one that occurs when a patient needs surgery and the surgeon operates on the wrong part of the body, causes harm to the organs or other body parts surrounding the surgery site, or fails to make sure that no medical instruments and equipment are left in the child’s body. Even if the surgeon performs the operation perfectly, there’s still a possibility that the child could become injured as the result of poor postoperative care. In fact, patients are much more likely to be harmed by poor nursing care after surgery than the actual surgery itself.

Anesthesia Errors

Anesthesiologists have to carefully study a patient’s medical records in order to determine the amount of anesthesia to administer and the instructions to give to the patient or the patient’s parents, such as not eating before the surgery. Failing to take the proper precautions can lead to brain damage or extensive injury to the child. There are even cases where anesthesia errors result in the child’s death.

If you feel your child was injured as a result of any of these types of pediatric malpractice, please call McGehee ☆ Chang, Landgraf, Feiler to discuss your case. 713-864-4000