First time mom presented her 6 month old child to the ER. The appropriate tests were not performed and the mother and child were sent home resulting in permanent brain injury.
General Information About Medical Malpractice
What is a Permanent Brain Injury?
This is brain damage that causes long-term or permanent functional changes. There are various types of traumatic brain injuries that children can incur, and the severity of the injury can determine the likelihood of permanent damage.
Types of Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) in Children:
Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are a serious concern for children, as they can result in long-term adverse effects on their development and quality of life. Below are several types of traumatic brains injuries (TBIs) that children can suffer and descriptions of each:
A concussion is a type of TBI, and is one of the most common brain injuries in children and teens. It may be caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or body that causes the head and brain to move rapidly back and forth. Symptoms of a concussion can range from mild to severe, and may include headaches, dizziness, nausea, and difficulty concentrating.
Children who participate in sports, particularly high-impact or extreme sports like soccer, football, hockey, and skateboarding, are at risk for TBIs. These injuries can occur from falls or collisions with other players or objects. Children who play contact sports like boxing or football are at particular risk for repeated head injuries that can lead to long-term effects on brain function. Keeping an eye on symptoms of brain injury is important while they are participating in high impact sports. Worsening symptoms need immediate medical attention.
Children who suffer a severe TBI may experience significant loss of muscle function, speech, vision, hearing, or taste function, depending on the area of brain damage. Long- or short-term changes in personality or behavior may also occur. These children require lifelong medical and rehabilitative management, including physical, occupational, or speech therapy.
Children can suffer from a range of TBIs, including concussions, sports-related injuries, and severe injuries that can lead to long-term physical and cognitive impairments. Parents, caregivers, and coaches should be aware of the signs and symptoms of a TBI and take appropriate measures to prevent and treat these injuries in children.
Protocol for Children Entering the Emergency Room:
When children enter an emergency room (ER), there are general protocols that should be followed to ensure that they receive appropriate care. Here are some general guidelines that are recommended for all ERs that provide care for children:
- Pediatric readiness: The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all ERs be prepared to care for children. This includes having appropriate equipment, supplies, and medications for pediatric patients, as well as having healthcare providers with specialized training in pediatric care. The intended users of these recommendations include all ERs that are open 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, including freestanding ERs and critical access hospital ERs.
- Clinical practice guidelines: ERs may have their own clinical practice guidelines, which are evidence-based recommendations for the management of specific conditions or situations in the ER. For example, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta has developed clinical effectiveness guidelines for use in an ER setting. These guidelines cover topics such as asthma, dehydration, and seizures.
- Protocols for specific conditions: ERs may also have specific protocols for the management of certain conditions or situations. For example, the Division of Pediatric Emergency Medicine at McGill University has protocols for the management of conditions such as syncope, tinea capitis, and urticaria multiforme.
In summary, when children enter an ER, it is important that the ER is prepared to care for pediatric patients and has appropriate equipment, supplies, and healthcare providers with specialized training in pediatric care. ERs may have their own clinical practice guidelines and protocols for the management of specific conditions or situations. Parents and caregivers should be aware of these protocols and guidelines when seeking emergency care for their children.
Appropriate Tests for Children in Emergency Room
The appropriate tests for children in an ER will depend on the specific symptoms and condition that they are presenting with. Tests may include blood work, imaging studies (such as X-rays, CT scans, or MRIs), and other diagnostic tests, such as electrocardiograms (EKGs) or pulmonary function tests. The decision to perform these tests will be made by the healthcare provider based on the child’s symptoms and medical history.
National Statistics for Children with Traumatic Brain Injuries
According to the National Center for Health Statistics, in 2020, 6.8% of children aged 17 years and under in the United States had symptoms of a concussion or brain injury.
In terms of mortality data, in 2020, there were 1,828 deaths due to traumatic brain injury among children aged 17 years and under in the United States.
Traumatic brain injury is a leading cause of death and disability in children and young adults in the United States, with an estimated 5 million Americans living with the challenges of a long-term TBI-related disability.
Hospital Guidelines for Traumatic Brain Injuries
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has developed clinical recommendations for healthcare providers regarding the diagnosis, management, and treatment of pediatric traumatic brain injury (TBI). These recommendations consist of 19 sets of clinical guidelines that cover various aspects of TBI care, including diagnosis, prognosis, and management and treatment. The guidelines are intended for healthcare providers working in inpatient, emergency, primary, and outpatient care settings. Healthcare providers can also access other resources related to TBI, including the Acute Concussion Evaluation (ACE) Forms, the Concussion in Sports Palm Card, and the Managing Return to Activities guide.
Traumatic Brain Injury Settlements
My heart aches for parents who have to see their child with a devastating head injury. During this difficult time, it’s common for parents to wonder about their child’s future and the thought of facing a permanent brain damage diagnosis. Your days are filled with anxiety while you’re making sure the doctors have , performed the CT scan, or discussed what the MRI showed. You need your rest, and the last thing on your mind should be legal matters.
I am here to take care of the legal matters, so you can focus on your child’s care. You can trust my legal advice, because I have more than 40 years of experience with TBI cases. I’ve been able to recover millions of dollars in compensation for my injured clients . The $7,5 million settlement mentioned above above is one example. This funds were necessary to ensure a normal life as possible and ongoing care of their child.
To avoid a future legal matter, or have to admit liability, doctors and hospital administrators will work to disprove medical malpractice claims. After this tragedy, you do not need excuses, you need help. Let me help, and I’ll Make Them Pay!®