A leading cause of pediatric malpractice is a birth defect that isn’t often discussed but occurs more often than one would think: Malrotation, which involves the abnormal alignment of the bowel. This usually happens while the fetus is growing. This birth defect can also be hereditary. Occurring in 1 in 500 live births (like cerebral palsy), most cases are diagnosed by the time the baby turns one.
However, it is not uncommon for pediatricians to misdiagnose or delay diagnosis of this potentially deadly bowel condition and mistake malrotation for a mild illness, such as acid reflux. The only way to untwist the bowels if the malformation is serious is through surgery and when treatment is delayed, the defect can be fatal if blood flow to the intestines is blocked for too long. In many instances involving a misdiagnosed malrotation, a child with this birth defect end up having to be rushed to an emergency room.
Signs of Malrotation:
• Abdominal pain
• Projectile vomit that is green or yellow in color
• A bloody stool
• A swollen abdomen
• Rapid breathing or heart rate
• Drawing up of the legs
Malrotation can also result in other complications, such as Ladd’s bands, volvulus, and obstruction caused by either of these complications. The sooner malrotation is diagnosed, the better the chances that a child will recover fully and develop normally.
Your son or daughter deserves the proper medical care and when a pediatrician or another doctor is careless or makes a mistake that causes injury or death, the medical care provider should be held liable for the injuries to your child. Grounds for pediatric malpractice can include:
• Surgical errors
• Birthing injuries
• Negligent care
• Delayed diagnosis
• Wrong diagnosis
• Prescription mistakes
Malrotation: Potentially fatal bowel condition often misdiagnosed as mild ailment, Chicago Sun-Times, April 21, 2009
Intestinal Malrotation, KidsHealth
Related Web Resources:
Malrotation and Volvulus, The American Pediatric Surgical Association
Contact Portland, Oregon Medical Malpractice Attorney Matt Kaplan to discuss your injuries to minor case.