Medical Errors in Children - Miami Medical Malpractice Lawyer: Sean M. Cleary

When you suspect your child was the victim of medical malpractice, talk to an experienced medical malpractice attorney free of charge and see if you have a case.

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We work with experts in the medical, life care planning and other fields, who help assess damages in child injury malpractice cases, to seek full compensation.

Sean M. Cleary
Medical Errors in Children

Medical errors, though also common in adults, can have serious consequences in children. A study in the journal Pediatrics found that problems due to medications occurred in 11% of children who were in the hospital and that 22% of them were preventable. Every eight minutes a child is injured by a medication error. Children are also the victims of diagnostic errors, incorrect procedures or tests, infections and injuries. Out of the total number of medical errors occurring in children, 50% are preventable. Medical mistakes are a more significant threat for children than for adults because children are physically small, and their kidneys, liver and immune system are still developing.


Sean M. Cleary has handled a surgery medical malpractice case on behalf of an infant and her family. As soon as she was born, the infant required minor surgery on her intestines but the doctor failed to take urgent action. Due to a negligent 10-day delay of the surgery, the girl ended up losing her entire small intestine, and today she has to be fed through ports in her body and requires a small intestine and liver transplant.

We represent cases involving failure to timely diagnose a child with developmental dysplasia of the hip (DDH); these are complex cases typically requiring the input of a variety of experts. There is a limited opportunity to treat DDH with an effective treatment that almost always corrects it without surgery. Unfortunately, after a toddler is four months old, the non-invasive approach is no longer a choice. DDH can still be corrected at this stage, however, surgery is required. If the doctor does not diagnose correctly developmental dysplasia of the hip immediately after birth or during a well-baby exam, this will have catastrophic effects, resulting in avascular necrosis and the need for repeated hip replacements. We can help by rigorously checking whether all tests were correctly carried out to assess the health of the baby’s hips.

Sean Cleary and the team at The Law Offices of Sean M. Cleary obtained a settlement on behalf of a baby whom, at approximately 3 months of age, was neglected by her medical staff and went into septic shock. Following sepsis, she developed mild hemiparesis and developmental regression. She had 3 hypotensive cardiac arrests, multiple cerebral infarctions, renal failure, right femoral vein thrombosis, and bilateral pneumothoraces and today requires 24-hour supervision and attendant care. Sadly, there are too many cases relating a failure to diagnose sepsis in children. Undiagnosed sepsis can have catastrophic consequences, including the development of widespread septicemia and meningitis. To avoid permanent injuries, it is imperative that these types of infections are diagnosed and treated early.

Thankfully, childhood cancers are rare, however, this can make them more difficult to diagnose and often clinicians don't take into account the possibility of cancer in a child or fail to pay attention to the symptoms. Medical negligence in diagnosing pediatric cancer can occur if doctors miss the signs of cancer, ignore what kids tell them about their symptoms, fail to order appropriate tests, misinterpret test results or incorrectly stage the disease. Even where malignancy is suspected, errors in radiology or pathology can result in ambiguous or misleading reports. Our experience working with highly qualified experts can help determine the errors in diagnostic technique or test results interpretation that could have made the crucial difference for a child.

Intussusception is a condition in which a part of the intestine, usually the small intestine, effectively folds in on itself. Often, this leads to a serious blockage preventing fluids and food from passing through the intestine. It also results in a blockage of the blood supply to the intestine. If not treated, this blockage will result in swelling and bleeding of the bowl and the affected area can become necrotic, leading to generalized septicemia and risk of brain damage. We pursue cases where there has been a delay or failure to diagnose the condition. These are usually emergency room cases or mistakes made by pediatricians, often because the doctors are too busy to order an ultrasound or CT scan or fail to perform a test that would have given the proper diagnosis.


What We Do in a Pediatric Medical Error Case

Our Legal Process

Common Children Medical Errors Questions

What Are Children Medical Error Cases? »

As medical errors in the case of children can have dire consequences because of the fragile nature of the patients and their inability to articulate response, children medical errors are treated very severely by the law, as in the case of surgical errors, wrong dosage, misdiagnosis, delayed diagnosis etc.

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How Long Will It Take to Solve My Pediatric Malpractice Case? »

Depending on how complex the case is, your pediatric malpractice case could stretch for anything from six months to five years. Consult a lawyer to become familiar with the statute of limitations and the best options available in your particular case.

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Does a Bad Outcome Mean That My Child Was Harmed by a Medical Professional's Negligence? »

When a bad medical outcome occurs, it does not necessarily mean that malpractice has occurred. Often, a bad medical outcome is caused by an unintended complication. Generally, complications are not considered medical malpractice.

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Do Health Care Professionals Know I'm Starting a Medical Malpractice Case? »

It is unlikely that medical professionals know that you are bringing a malpractice claim, though it happens sometimes. Occasionally, some of them may alter or amend medical records.

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Why Is It So Hard to Bring a Pediatric Malpractice Claim? »

In Florida, a pediatric malpractice claim can be brought against nearly all persons or entities that provide health care. This includes emergency room doctors, physicians, specialists, nurses, anesthesiologists, optometrists and pharmacists, just to name a few.

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