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Children not immune from misdiagnosis in healthcare settings

Patient injuries that are the result of medical errors in a healthcare setting are undeniably difficult to deal with regardless of the type of injury or its severity. Most Butler County residents would agree however that those in which the injured patient is a child are especially difficult to handle. The actions that constitute medical negligence in the case of a youth are often the same that affect adults and include the failure to diagnose.

One area in which physicians appear to often misdiagnose the issue is when a child suffers a stroke. This is despite the fact that each year 3,000 young people suffer from the condition. In fact, it is listed as one of the top reasons for death of children. Between 40 and 50 percent of all strokes occur before a child celebrates his or her first birthday. They may be due to blockage or rupture. In the latter case, athletes are especially at risk.

The reasons there is often a misdiagnosis of the condition is likely due, at least in part, to the symptoms. These symptoms may initially appear to be the flu or a migraine headache and include nausea and a difficulty tolerating light. While if not properly diagnosed, the condition could lead to death, the good news is that in most cases children survive such episodes. The extent of the impairments they will live with for the rest of their lives is often impacted by how long it takes to provide treatment for the condition, however.

Recovering and dealing with these lingering effects is usually expensive and could leave a family in a situation where medical bills seem to be constant. For individuals who find themselves in that situation, it may be appropriate to file a medical malpractice lawsuit to try to obtain monetary damages.

Source: ABC News, "Pediatric Stroke Often Misdiagnosed, Treatment Delayed," Susan Donaldson James. Feb. 11, 2013

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