Willens Law Offices Articles Cerebral Palsy Lawyer: The Dangers of Diagnostic Errors

Cerebral Palsy Lawyer: The Dangers of Diagnostic Errors

By Matthew Willens  Mar. 7, 2016 4:20p

New parents completely rely on their child's doctor to guide them, especially when it comes to caring for their newborns. They look up to the doctors for proper medical information with regards to their baby, accurate diagnosis and treatment, and proper care. However, this does not always happen, exposing a newborn baby to serious risks.

Diagnostic Errors and Newborns

Cerebral Palsy caused due to birth injury is an example, where misdiagnosis, delay in diagnosis or diagnostic errors have had a devastating effect on babies. Sadly, an Institute of Medicine report from the National Academy of Sciences states that:

  • About 6-17% of adverse events in hospitals are caused by diagnostic errors.
  • About 5 % of outpatient care diagnosis are incorrect
  • About 10% patient deaths are attributed to diagnostic errors.

These errors can lead to life altering conditions like Cerebral Palsy.

Deceptive Diagnosis and Neglect

Cerebral Palsy is caused when the brain does not receive oxygen supply, either during pregnancy or during the process of child birth, resulting in brain damage. Though, mostly, doctors and medical practitioners are genuinely committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of the mother and the baby, medical accidents and mistakes do happen.

Sadly, not all accidents are innocent and not all mistakes are innocently-missed diagnosis. At times, doctors try to cover up cases of medical errors caused due to neglect by using different terminologies to address Cerebral Palsy to escape legal charges. Parents, who are unsure of the cause of their child's condition, need to be wary of such deceptive terminology, and immediately start asking questions, or look for expert legal help if the following terms are used by doctors.

  • Froggy Legs
  • Floppy Baby Syndrome
  • Ballerina Syndrome
  • Periventricular Leukomalacia (PVL)
  • Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE)
  • Pervasive Developmental Delays (PDD)

Using different terminology of Cerebral Palsy puts the child's heath at serious risk. Using disingenuous terms for Cerebral palsy can prevent correct and early detection of the condition, affecting their ability to provide proper medical care and timely treatment for their child.

Apart from endangering the child's life, using other terms could affect the child's eligibility for Lifetime Benefits before the Statute of Limitations expires. It could restrict parents from protecting their legal rights and exploring options for compensation of expenses that could be a concern for them, for life.

The Legal Course of Action

If parents suspect neglect, deception, misdiagnosis, or incorrect diagnosis on part of the doctor, they should take the following course of action –

  1. Request for a Medical Legal Review from a Cerebral Palsy birth injury lawyer.
  2. Seek a second opinion from another doctor.
  3. Look for clinical Cerebral Palsy signs like such as floppiness or rigidity in the child's muscles, impaired movements, coordination and control, abnormal posture, bad reflexes, impaired gross motor, fine motor or oral skills
  4. Request a complete understanding of legal rights, proceedings and information about compensation from your birth injury attorney.

Though Cerebral Palsy is not degenerative, it is a lifelong condition. By getting legal help from a competent Chicago cerebral palsy lawyer, parents can at least get compensation that will ensure proper treatment for their child. Call Willens Law Offices today at (312) 957-4166 to schedule a free consultation.

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