The Dangers of Late, Wrong and Deceptive Diagnoses

Parents rely on doctors to provide their child with expert care, safe treatment and accurate diagnoses. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen. A Cerebral Palsy birth injury lawyer is all too familiar with the devastating effect that a missed, incorrect or delayed diagnosis can have not only on a child’s health, but on his or her eligibility for Lifetime Benefits before the Statute of Limitations expires.

Delayed and Incorrect Diagnoses

According to a recent report from the Institute of Medicine, the health branch of the National Academy of Sciences, most Americans will receive a late or incorrect diagnosis at some point in their lifetimes. According to the report:

  • Diagnostic errors contribute to 6 to 17 percent of adverse events in hospitals.
  • At least 5 percent of U.S. patients who seek outpatient care each year experience diagnostic error.
  • Diagnostic errors account for 10 percent of patient deaths.

This startling finding has dire implications for all U.S. patients, but especially for newborns. The first years of life are critical for developing brains, and missed conditions such as infections or allergies can lead to Cerebral Palsy, with devastating, lifelong impacts.

Experts suggest that whenever you can, try to remember to ask your doctor these three questions:

  1. What could be causing my child’s problem?
  2. What else could it be?
  3. When will I get my child’s test results and what should I do to follow up?

Deceptive Diagnoses

Of course, doctors are capable of making mistakes, just like anyone. Most doctors are honorable and genuinely committed to the health and well-being of their patients. However, not all incorrect diagnoses are innocent mistakes. Some doctors, in an attempt to cover up their own medical errors that occurred before, during or after delivery, will avoid giving a Cerebral Palsy diagnosis and offer other terms to explain a child’s condition.

There are some specific terms that should alert parents to a possible misdiagnosis, and the potential need for a consultation with an experienced Cerebral Palsy birth injury lawyer. Here are six terms that should raise red flags:

  1. “Froggy Legs”
  2. “Floppy Baby Syndrome”
  3. “Ballerina Syndrome”
  4. Periventricular Leukomalacia (PVL)
  5. Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE)
  6. Pervasive Developmental Delays (PDD)

Cerebral Palsy is not a degenerative condition. However, with time and age, a person becomes naturally less equipped to overcome the physical and neurological challenges he or she faces. Using coded or disingenuous names for Cerebral Palsy places your child at terrible risk. It prohibits your child from the benefits of early intervention, including medical care, therapeutic treatment and adaptive equipment.

By not understanding the true diagnosis of their child, parents can’t effectively uncover the true cause of their child’s condition. This can also prohibit parents from exploring the legal rights of their child and pursuing action to obtain compensation for expenses now and in the future.

If you hear any of the terms above, you should quickly seek a second opinion from a different doctor and request a Medical Legal Review from a Cerebral Palsy birth injury lawyer. A Medical Legal Review is conducted by a team of legal and medical experts that will investigate the details surrounding the pregnancy, delivery and subsequent care your child received.

Signs Your Doctor Should Be Looking For

Cerebral Palsy is typically diagnosed during the first few years of a child’s life, a time when most children are unable to effectively communicate their symptoms. This makes a doctor’s ability to recognize the signs and symptoms of Cerebral Palsy crucial to a child’s diagnosis, early treatment and legal rights. The clinical signs of Cerebral Palsy include:

  • Variations in muscle tone, such as floppiness or rigidity
  • Impaired movement coordination and control
  • Exaggerated reflexes
  • Abnormal posture
  • Poor balance
  • Impaired gross motor function
  • Impaired fine motor function
  • Impaired oral motor function

To learn more about uncovering whether your child’s Cerebral Palsy was preventable, or how a Cerebral Palsy birth injury lawyer can help you seek Lifetime Benefits, complete the form on this page or call (800) 462-5772.

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