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A leading cause of death in children is often misdiagnosed

When it comes to the birth and delivery of a child, most parents in Maryland hope for one thing above all else: a healthy baby. Of all the potential risks and complications that can occur with pregnancy, delivery and the following weeks, many parents are unaware that a pediatric stroke is a significant potential risk for their new born.

In fact, strokes in children are among one of the top 10 causes of death for kids in the United States, including here in Maryland. Many parents do not know that the risk of a stroke in their child is highest during both the final stages of pregnancy and the newborn phase. Pediatric strokes occur in about 1 in every 3,000 live births.

One family became the 1 in 3,000 when their son had a stroke in the womb. The child survived and is now a happy toddler, but one side of his body remains weaker and he has to undergo rigorous physical therapy. Soon, half of his body will be confined to a cast as a means of forcing the other, weaker half to strengthen. Luckily, he does not appear to have any cognitive delays or disabilities following the stroke.

The most terrifying thing about these strokes in fetuses, newborns and older children alike, is that there is often a delay in obtaining the correctly diagnosis. The average diagnosis delay following a pediatric stroke is 28 hours. For some victims, this medical mistake can mean critical medical treatment is not received in timely fashion; therefore the child's condition is worsened. In some instances this results in months of rehabilitation or decades of disability.

In Maryland, when medical mistakes are made to the detriment of either an infant or any other patient, there can in some instances be financial recovery available. In such a pursuit, money can be awarded to provide for the long-term care of a victim and other medical expenses. Speaking with an experienced medical malpractice attorney can help a family in such a pursuit.

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

  • Our firm has experience handling cases of a similar nature. For more information, please refer to our Maryland birth injury page.

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