Misdiagnosis is common among pediatric malpractice claims

March 8, 2022 | Crandall & Pera Law
Misdiagnosis is common among pediatric malpractice claims

Parents of seriously ill children in Ohio often do everything they can to ensure that their kids get the best medical care. However, even with their best efforts, the care that children receive is sometimes insufficient due to doctor mistakes. Misdiagnosis of a child's condition is the most common reason for medical malpractice lawsuits involving children.

Diagnostic errors are the top reasons for pediatric claims

A recent study by The Doctors Company, the largest physician-owned medical malpractice insurer in the United States, indicates that failure to diagnose or misdiagnosis is the top reason for medical malpractice claims for children under 17 years old. It is also the second most common reason for infants younger than one-month-old. The study centered on claims from 2008 through 2017 filed against physicians in 52 specialties and subspecialties. It concentrated on four groups: neonates, first year, children and teenagers. Among the problems that led to lawsuits included:
  • Poor communication
  • System failures, including not informing doctors about test results
  • Diagnostic errors
Most claims were filed within three years of the incident, with brain injuries being most common. Younger children typically experienced injuries from malignancies, trauma and communicable disease while older children and teens primarily experienced trauma and illness.

Failure of existing health care strategies

Patients trust doctors to give the correct diagnosis. Wrong or delayed diagnosis can lead to delays in proper treatment, further injury or even death in the most extreme cases. Misdiagnosis in pediatric cases can lead to lifelong disabilities. Such claims can often be complex, with the onus falling on the plaintiff to prove that the doctor made a mistake. However, if your child has been injured through misdiagnosis, you have the right to pursue compensation. Getting compensation for a medical mistake might make life easier for you and your child during multiple stages of life.