We remain fully operational through the COVID-19 pandemic. While we are not in the office, we will make ourselves available through phone, email or video chat.

Fighting for Victims of Personal Injury & Medical Malpractice
Call for a Free Consultation
Doctor wearing a mask and face shield uses a tongue depressor to look into a child's mouth during a medical examination

9 Things You Should Know About Pediatric Malpractice

The vast majority of pediatricians and other medical professionals who work with kids are caring and competent individuals. However, some outliers may not take the proper care and attention necessary to treat patients effectively.

It’s important to understand how children can be impacted by pediatric malpractice so that if it happens to your child, you are equipped with the knowledge and resources you need.

Read on to learn nine things you need to know about pediatric malpractice:

#1 - There are four general categories of children regarding pediatric medicine.

It is common for organizations that study pediatric malpractice to organize children into four different categories based on their age, including:

  • Neonate
    • Less than one (1) month old
  • First Year
    • One (1) through 11 months
  • Child
    • One through nine (1-9) years
  • Teenager
    • 10 through 17 years

#2 - At least 72% of all pediatric patient claims are filed against doctors within the top 10 physician specialties.

The following are the top 10 physician specialties and the rates at which pediatric malpractice lawsuits are filed against them:

  • Obstetrics
    • 24%
  • Pediatrics
    • 15%
  • Orthopedics
    • 7%
  • Emergency Medicine
    • 6%
  • Family Medicine
    • 6%
  • Radiology
    • 3%
  • General Surgery
    • 3%
  • Anesthesiology
    • 3%
  • Otolaryngology
    • 3%
  • Psychiatry
    • 2%

#3 - Most pediatric malpractice cases are filed within three years of the harmful treatment.

Nearly 77% of cases are filed within three years of the malpractice. About 85% of claims are filed by five years, and by 10 years, almost 97% of cases are filed.

A mere 1.9% of pediatric cases are filed 11 to 15 years following the patient’s harm and just 1.1% of pediatric claims are filed 16 to 20 years following the malpractice.

#4 - Brain injuries are the most common type of pediatric malpractice injury at every stage of childhood.

Brain injuries make up the overwhelming majority of pediatric patient injuries due to medical malpractice.

Neonate malpractice injury rates are as follows:

  • Brain
    • 48%
  • Arms
    • 19%
  • Penis
    • 5%
  • Blood
    • 4%
  • Legs
    • 4%

Patients less than one year old suffer the following types of injuries at the following rates:

  • Brain
    • 36%
  • Lungs and respiratory system
    • 20%
  • Heart
    • 15%
  • Blood
    • 9%
  • Hips
    • 4%

Children one to nine years of age most often suffer injuries to the following:

  • Brain
    • 15%
  • Lung and respiratory system
    • 9%
  • Eyes
    • 6%
  • Heart
    • 4%
  • Teeth
    • 4%

Children in their teens are most likely to suffer injuries to the following:

  • Brain
    • 11%
  • Teeth
    • 6%
  • Knees
    • 4%
  • Abdominal cavity
    • 4%
  • Lower legs
    • 4%

#5 - Younger patients tend to suffer more high-severity injuries than older patients.

High-severity injury rates vary by age group. The following are the rates of high-severity injuries, broken down by age group:

  • Neonate
    • 75%
  • First-year
    • 65%
  • Child
    • 44%
  • Teenager
    • 32%

#6 - Most claims for neonate pediatric malpractice are related to injuries caused during labor and delivery.

The overwhelming majority—63%—of medical malpractice claims filed for neonate injuries are the result of harm caused during labor and delivery (obstetrics). The percentages of claims filed for various types of neonate injuries are as follows:

  • Obstetrics-related care
    • 63%
  • Diagnosis-related (failure, delay, wrong)
    • 14%
  • Medical treatment (nonobstetric)
    • 13%
  • Surgical treatment (non anesthesia)
    • 4%

#7 - Most claims for children in their first year of life are diagnosis-related.

The most common pediatric medical malpractice cases for children younger than one year are as follows:

  • Diagnosis-related (failure, delay, wrong)
    • 44%
  • Medical treatment (nonobstetric)
    • 21%
  • Surgical treatment (non anesthesia)
    • 8%
  • Patient monitoring
    • 3%
  • Obstetrics-related treatment
    • 3%
  • Anesthesia-related treatment
    • 3%
  • Failure to warn of risks
    • 3%
  • Failure to provide safety (falls)
    • 3%
  • Other medication-related
    • 3%

#8 - Most claims for children ages one to nine are diagnosis-related.

The most common pediatric medical malpractice cases for children ages one to nine years are as follows:

  • Diagnosis-related (failure, delay, wrong)
    • 38%
  • Medical treatment (nonobstetric)
    • 22%
  • Surgical treatment (non anesthesia)
    • 18%
  • Communication (other)
    • 6%
  • Improper medical management
    • 4%

#9 - Most claims for teenagers (ages 10-17 years) are diagnosis-related.

The most common pediatric medical malpractice cases for teens are as follows:

  • Diagnosis-related (failure, delay, wrong)
    • 34%
  • Surgical treatment (non anesthesia)
    • 23%
  • Medical treatment (nonobstetric)
    • 19%
  • Improper medical management
    • 6%
  • Anesthesia-related treatment
    • 4%
  • Obstetrics-related treatment
    • 3%

If your child has been injured as a result of pediatric malpractice, our team is here to help. Don’t hesitate to reach out right away with your questions.

Contact our experienced attorneys at Cherundolo Law Firm, PLLC today by calling (315) 544-3332 or by filling out our online contact form.

Categories