Caring for a child often requires medical attention and appropriate treatments. A pediatric doctor focuses on the health of children and provides appropriate care based on symptoms a child displays and the possible complications associated with medical health concerns. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, a pediatric doctor offers preventative medicine as well as appropriate care for chronic and acute health conditions that arise before a child reaches a certain age. Generally, pediatricians provide care to a child from birth until he or she reaches adulthood or 21 years old.
Treatments for Children and Youths
Treatment for children, infants and adolescents differ from adults due to the growth and development of their age group. Children grow at a rapid rate and do not have the full development and management of their body that adults develop over time. They also do not have the immune health that adults develop because they have not been exposed to the same level of environmental factors.
When pediatricians care for children and infants, they provide certain treatments that focus on preventative care and appropriate treatment for symptoms that develop over time. Common treatments include:
- Appropriate immunizations or shots
- Regular check-ups for overall health
- Treatments for sicknesses
- Diagnosis of chronic conditions that develop during childhood
- Recommendations to the young individual or a parent about diet, exercise and overall health
A pediatric doctor offers medical treatments and care for children for their entire young life. Essentially, the doctor is the individual who helps children grow into healthy adults by ensuring that they have appropriate shots, boosters and preventative treatments for health concerns. Unfortunately, pediatric doctors also make mistakes when working with children and they can cause harm through misdiagnosis or inappropriate treatments.
What is Pediatric Malpractice?
Pediatric malpractice is a type of legal case that relates to inappropriate medical treatments or negligent care toward children that causes physical or emotional harm. According to the National Institutes of Health, roughly 3.1 percent of pediatric doctors face malpractice claims each year and roughly 20 percent of the claims result in a settlement.
The National Institutes of Health explain that medical malpractice only carries forward into a court of law or a settlement when a doctor does not provide the care a child needs for a condition or does not follow through with treatment. It also means that a child faces health consequences due to the negligence and inappropriate treatment from a doctor. In the case of pediatric malpractice, it specifically refers to injuries or health complications that arise from negligent care of an infant, child or adolescent.
When to Consider Legal Assistance
Medical malpractice relates to a specific type of situation that causes harm because of a doctor’s actions. In certain situations, doctors do not have options to help with a child’s needs due to limited technology or the nature of a specific illness. For example, doctors do not have an actual cure for childhood cancers, so they can only offer certain medical treatments.
Malpractice occurs when a doctor does have treatment options and refuses to use the treatments or does not provide treatment in a timely manner. For example, if a child faces health complications because a doctor does not treat a condition or misdiagnoses the condition and provides an inappropriate treatment, then it you can seek justice for the situation.
Times when you want to consider seeking legal assistance for pediatric malpractice include:
- When a condition is misdiagnosed
- When doctors do not provide timely care for a condition that worsens as a result of delayed treatment
- Any time a doctor ignores the situation
- Any time doctors do not inform the parent or the patient of potential complications or problems with medications, treatments or health conditions
- When a child dies or faces severe health consequences for no apparent reason during a medical treatment
Doctors must provide appropriate follow up instructions for any medical treatments and keep parents or the patient informed about potential risks. Generally, pediatric doctors inform parents or guardians when working with young children.
Identifying medical malpractice is a complicated process, but you should always seek justice when you feel that your child was not giving appropriate treatment despite a doctor’s ability to provide treatment and the normal medical standards for a specific condition. Contact us today to learn more about pediatric malpractice and your legal options for inappropriate care from a pediatric doctor.