When is a Congenital Heart Defect Missed or Delayed in Diagnosis Medical Malpractice in Oregon?
According to the Center for Disease Control, about 880 of 1,755 infants who are diagnosed with a critical heart defect are missed at birth through congenital heart defect (also known as CHD) screening. While CHDs are incredibly common (perhaps the most common defect), unfortunately it is all too common to miss a heart defect at birth. Failure to identify these conditions in a timely manner can lead to irreversible harm to the infant, including lung damage, heart damage, or even death. While there are some instances in which a late diagnosis may not be at the fault of the physician, there are instances in which the missed diagnosis is due to medical malpractice. The difficult part is determining whether a congenital heart defect missed or delayed in diagnosis is Oregon medical malpractice.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, examples of types of CHD include the following:
- Tetralogy of Fallot
- Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome
- Atrioventricular Septal Defect
- Ebstein Anomaly
- Atrial Septal Defect
- d-Transposition of the Great Arteries
- Double-outlet of the Right Ventricle
- Total Anomalous Pulmonary Venous Return
- Truncus Arteriosis
- Interrupted Aortic Arch
- Pulmonary Atresia
- Coarctation of the Aorta
- Single Ventricle
Symptoms of a CHD in Newborns
It is important to not fail to diagnose a CHD, and if so, that a congenital heart defect missed or delayed in diagnosis if immediately treated. Symptoms of this condition include the following:
- Rapid breathing
- Poor feeding
- Poor weight gain
- Rapid heart beat
- Cyanosis (bluish colored tint to the fingernails, skin, and lips as a result of a lack of oxygenated blood)
- Swelling of the legs, abdomen, and around the eyes
- Lung infections
- Heart murmur
- Weak pulse
Treatments for CHDs
- Surgery – This is dependent on the type of defect the baby has
- Medication therapy – medication therapy depends on the type of defect the baby has, and is used to lower the stress on the heart, maintain a normal heart rhythm, to keep the arteries and blood vessels around and in the heart open, to maintain a normal blood pressure, or to remove fluid from the body
- Heart transplant – If surgery or medication therapy are not good options for the baby or if thee treatments have failed, a baby with a congenital heart defect may need a heart transplant
- Observation – This is only if the heart defect is mild and there is no need for surgical intervention or medication therapy
How Can Congenital Heart Defect Missed or Delayed in Diagnosis be Caused by Medical Malpractice?
It does not take a physician to know the seriousness of missing a cardiac abnormality, especially in an infant. While some conditions may be more difficult to diagnose and may not be at the fault of the physician if the infant presented with no symptoms, some serious abnormalities are missed in error. A few examples of how a misdiagnosis could be caused by medical malpractice include:
- Failure to perform CHD screening
- Failure to detect murmur or other abnormality after birth
- Failing to investigate a potential abnormality
- Misdiagnosing an infant with the wrong CHD, perhaps one that is far less benign and does not need treatment instead of the serious CHD they actually have, and
- Many other mistakes.
What Compensation Could Your Loved One Be Entitled to?
The thing about birth injuries is that they are very costly for a family. This is because all types of neonatal treatment, whether it is in the NICU or during the first 28 days of life, are all very expensive. But treatment for the rest of a baby’s life quickly adds up too, especially because the life expectancy for people are around 78 years old (slightly higher for women). This means that a baby who has been seriously injured due to a birth injury or due to negligence treatment after birth could have damages in the millions of dollars, sometimes in the eight-figure range.
In addition, when it comes to a CHD that is missed, pediatric cardiology is an exceptionally limited speciality with less healthcare providers than say a regular cardiologist or an orthopedist. This means that a pediatric cardiologist will cost a lot more money for a family to help treat the injuries from the medical professionals that resulted in serious damage to your child.
Some of the other types of compensation that you may be entitled to include the following:
- Pain and suffering, including past and future until the end of the life expectancy
- Medical bills past and future
- Medication costs
- Nursing care and treatment, even around the clock or in-home nursing
- Treatment and surgeries in the past and future
- Occupational, physical, and emotional therapy
- Types of serious complications like to the lungs
- Loss of consortium with family
- Future lost wages if unable to hold a normal job
- Lost wages for parents taking care of the child
- Wrongful death damages in serious instances of Oregon medical malpractice, and
- Other damages cased by the medical errors.
If Your Infant Has Suffered Serious Personal Injuries as a Result of a Congenital Heart Defect Missed or Delayed in Diagnosis in Oregon, We Can Help TODAY
If you or a loved one have been seriously injured or killed as a result of medical malpractice contact the Oregon Medical Malpractice Lawyers at Kuhlman Law at our number below or fill out the intake form. We offer a free initial case evaluation and handle cases on a contingency fee which means that you pay no money unless we recover.
Our law firm handles cases throughout the state including Bend and Portland Oregon, Redmond, Central Oregon, Sisters, Madras, Multnomah County, Deschutes County, Salem, Eugene, Corvallis, Lane County, Medford, Gresham, La Grande, Albany, Medford, Beaverton, Umatilla, Pendleton, Cottage Grove, Florence, Oregon City, Springfield, Keizer, Grants Pass, McMinnville, Tualatin, West Linn, Forest Grove, Wilsonville, Newberg, Roseburg, Lake Oswego, Klamath Falls, Happy Valley, Tigard, Ashland, Milwakie, Coos Bay, The Dalles, St. Helens, Sherwood, Central Point, Canby, Troutdale, Hermiston, Silverton, Hood River, Newport, Prineville, Astoria, Tillamook, Lincoln City, Hillsboro, and Vancouver, Washington.
We also have an office in Minneapolis, Minnesota and take medical malpractice cases throughout the Twin Cities, including St. Paul, Hennepin County, Ramsey County, Dakota County, Washington County, Anoka County, Scott County, Blaine, Stillwater, and Saint Paul Minnesota.