Cerebral Palsy Misdiagnosis

Cerebral Palsy Misdiagnosis

A medical misdiagnosis may deprive a patient of necessary treatment or prompt unnecessary treatments that cause harm. Serious conditions such as cerebral palsy (CP) require early diagnosis for best outcomes so a cerebral palsy misdiagnosis can be very harmful. Cerebral palsy (CP) is a set of neurological symptoms that create motor impairments. Symptoms vary by individual but it is caused by damage to or malformation of the developing brain, that happens during fetal development, childbirth, or shortly after birth.

If your child is suffering because of a misdiagnosis involving cerebral palsy, contact a local medical malpractice lawyer to discuss your legal rights as soon as possible.

How are the symptoms of cerebral palsy diagnosed?

Signs and symptoms of cerebral palsy include spastic movements, exaggerated reflexes, muscle weakness and floppy movements, and delayed motor development and growth. Other symptoms include problems with seizures, bladder and bowel problems, and vision and hearing loss.

CP is typically diagnosed during the first or second year after birth. Specialists might order brain imaging tests, such as a CT scan or MRI as part of the diagnosis process. Other tests may include genetic testing, metabolic testing, or an EEG, or some combination of these.

Why does cerebral palsy get misdiagnosed?

There are two main reasons that cerebral palsy is misdiagnosed.

The first is that with such a long list of symptoms, there are several other genetic, metabolic, and neurological conditions with overlapping symptoms. Other progressive disorders that are sometimes misdiagnosed as cerebral palsy are Rett syndrome, duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), metachromatic leukodystrophy, or Pelizaeus-Merzbacher disease. In other cases, children with CP are misdiagnosed with one of these other disorders.

The second is that signs of CP can be hard to see until a child is one year or older.

Doctors must be thorough in the diagnostic process to make the correct diagnosis by ordering follow-up tests and making referrals to specialists who can make a final diagnosis. If you are concerned that your child has CP but you are not getting a diagnosis, don’t hesitate to ask for a second opinion or push for more testing.

I believe my child was harmed by a cerebral palsy misdiagnosis. Do I have a malpractice case?

A medical malpractice lawyer will carefully analyze the cause of the misdiagnosis as well as the effect it had on the child. A medical malpractice lawsuit for misdiagnosing cerebral palsy may be appropriate if actual damages such as pain and suffering, medical bills, and disability were suffered as a result of the failure to diagnose. In a misdiagnosis case, negligent care may look like:

  1. A doctor’s failure to consider or make a diagnosis that another, similarly skilled medical professional would have included in a differential diagnosis under similar circumstances.
  2. A doctor identifying the correct diagnosis when differentiating but failing to order appropriate tests or to investigate the diagnosis further.

If your child was harmed by a medical misdiagnosis, you have a right to pursue full and fair compensation for their injuries on their behalf. In addition, parents have a right to pursue compensation for medical bills and other losses that they will incur as a result of their child’s injuries. In Washington State, the statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims is generally three years. Washington State also allows a child to file a claim on their own for up to three years past their 18th birthday.

The Seattle Personal Injury Lawyers You Want on Your Side

The personal injury attorneys at Tinker Law Firm have been winning birth injury, medical malpractice, and personal injury cases for individuals and their loved ones in Seattle and across Washington State since 1974. We seek justice for injury victims who have been harmed by preventable medical errors, and the negligent or abusive actions of another. Our clients pay no fees or expenses to file a personal injury claim; our firm advances out-of-pocket expenses and is only reimbursed when we recover a settlement on your behalf. Do not delay; personal injury claims in Washington State have a statute of limitations, which means they must be filed within a certain time from the date of the injury.

Call us now at 206-842-1000 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with one of our skilled and experienced injury attorneys.