Medical misdiagnosis is a prevalent problem affecting people of all ages—and that doesn’t exclude children. When a child’s medical condition is not assessed and diagnosed properly, it can lead to prolonged pain and suffering, delayed treatment, and potentially life-threatening consequences.
But a misdiagnosis doesn’t have to be battled alone. Luckily, a medical malpractice attorney can help guide you and your child through each step of the claims process to ensure full compensation. But before filing a claim, it’s important to understand the impact of medical malpractice on children to explore the factors contributing to this grave trend. Doing so will allow accurate diagnosis in the future.
The Impact of Medical Misdiagnosis on Children
Medical misdiagnosis can have long-lasting effects on children, affecting their physical health, emotional state, and overall quality of life. It can result from delayed or incorrect treatment, exacerbating the child’s condition into something possibly far worse: irreversible harm.
Children with severe chronic illnesses may be susceptible to unnecessary pain and suffering due to medical misdiagnosis, changing their brain chemistry and fostering psychological disorders like anxiety. Additionally, misdiagnosed children may face educational setbacks due to their conditions impeding their ability to participate in academic activities fully.
Factors Contributing to Medical Misdiagnosis in Children
Medical misdiagnosis can occur due to several reasons. The most common cases arise due to the following details:
- Atypical Symptoms: Pediatric illnesses sometimes present with atypical symptoms, which can be hard to detect and diagnose. Unusual manifestations can be easily overlooked or mistakenly recognized as a common, less severe illness.
- Limited Healthcare Training and Resources: When a medical facility lacks the training, equipment, and personnel to perform specific diagnostic strategies for children, it can lead to massive errors and poor judgment.
- Poor Communication: Ineffective communication among healthcare professionals and their patients, such as inadequate information sharing or data interpretation, can contribute to misdiagnosis.
- Lack of Parental Involvement: Parental concerns and observations are essential in pediatric diagnosis. When parents’ insights and feelings are not adequately addressed, important diagnostic information may be lost.
- Complex Pediatric Conditions: Some pediatric conditions may involve multiple health systems and require a holistic approach to diagnosis. The intricate nature of these conditions can make accurate diagnosis especially difficult when various symptoms overlap or progress over time.
- Diagnostic Delays: When medical attention or specialist information is delayed, it can prolong the diagnostic process and create a snowball effect that leads to a misdiagnosis.
- Incomplete Medical History: Inaccurate or missing medical history can deter accurate diagnosis. It is a basic rule for healthcare professionals to collect comprehensive medical records, including family history, to pinpoint potential risk factors and patterns.
Seeking Solutions with a Medical Malpractice Attorney
Facing a medical misdiagnosis in your child is no easy feat. It requires a multifaceted approach involving a myriad of stakeholders, extensive evidence, and, most notably—time. It’s not your fault that your healthcare provider has not effectively prioritized comprehensive evaluations. The unique aspects of your child’s condition should be approached with peak medical education, training, and pediatric-specific diagnostic strategies to improve diagnostic accuracy. Most importantly, as a parent, you should feel empowered to actively participate in your child’s medical journey in a healthy communicative environment.
If a medical misdiagnosis has impacted your child, the Hampton Roads medical malpractice attorneys at Breit Law have rich expertise in medical negligence to help.
Don’t wait—seek an experienced medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible to protect your rights.