Injuries that require long-term medical treatment or that have a permanent impact are considered catastrophic.  While that definition sounds frightening by itself, what if that injury occurs to your child? As a parent you would do anything for your child, so you feel helpless and heartbroken.  But what happens when you realize that your child’s catastrophic injury could have been prevented? Unfortunately, many parents are experiencing this very realization as there’s a rising trend in the misdiagnosis of pediatric strokes. 

Effects of a Misdiagnosed Pediatric Stroke

When a stroke goes undiagnosed in a child, the repercussions are tragic.  One 15-year-old went to the emergency room with complaints of vomiting and a terrible headache.  The doctors treated him for a migraine but after his mom pushed for further diagnostic tests, they did a brain scan and found that the teen had suffered a pediatric stroke. 

Once the teen was finally diagnosed, doctors had to remove part of his skull to allow for swelling.  A second stroke resulted in the boy losing his ability to speak or move his limbs.  He has had to endure hours of rigorous and costly rehabilitation. 

Strokes Can Happen Among Children, Not Just Adults

Most people assume that strokes are an adult occurrence, but pediatric strokes are a leading cause of death among children.  The reality is that there is often a significant delay in diagnosing pediatric strokes.  On average it takes doctors 28 hours to properly identify a child’s stroke.  Just like the 15-year-old that was treated for a migraine, medical mistakes can make a patient’s condition worse.  One doctor was quoted as saying that pediatric stroke victims usually end up with “six or seven decades of disability.”

Those residual effects from a stroke can mean high healthcare costs.  One study showed that the first year of care for a child that has suffered a stroke was around $42,000 without including the loss of the parents’ salary due to missed work. 

Contact a Fairfax Injury Lawyer

If a delayed diagnosis of a pediatric stroke or any other disease or illness has led to a long-term injury for your child in Virginia, there may be recourse available.  Contact our catastrophic personal injury attorneys at Shevlin Smith.  Our Fairfax lawyers are experienced with helping victims and their families pursue compensation for medical mistakes.  Call 703.591.0067 today or fill out the contact form at the top of this page.

Michael J. Shevlin
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Specializing in medical malpractice and serious personal injury cases since 1994.
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