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Failure to Diagnose Tetralogy of Fallot

Baltimore Lawyers Representing Families in Medical Malpractice Cases

Shortly after an infant’s birth, a doctor will evaluate them to assess their overall health. Among other things, the doctor will typically assess the color of the child’s skin, as abnormal coloring can indicate underlying conditions. For example, if an infant’s skin appears blue, they may have a cyanotic condition known as Tetralogy of Fallot. Tetralogy of Fallot is a serious heart condition that requires prompt treatment; as such, delayed or missed diagnoses can lead to grave complications. If your child suffered harm due to a doctor’s failure to diagnose Tetralogy of Fallot, you have the right to seek compensation, and you should speak to an attorney as soon as possible. The dedicated Baltimore medical malpractice lawyers of Arfaa Law Group take pride in helping families harmed by negligent healthcare providers in the pursuit of damages, and if you hire us, we will advocate zealously on behalf of you and your child.

Consequences of the Failure to Diagnose Tetralogy of Fallot

Tetralogy of Fallot is a congenital heart condition characterized by four specific defects: pulmonary stenosis, hypertrophy of the right ventricule, a ventricular septal defect, and an overriding aorta. Symptoms of Tetralogy of Fallot vary at birth, ranging from nonexistent to severe. In later infancy, however, children with Tetralogy of Fallot often present with bluish skin due to insufficient oxygenation and may have instances where they turn blue, become limp, have difficulty breathing, and lose consciousness. Tetralogy of Fallot is typically diagnosed via imaging studies. Treatment includes open heart surgery to increase the size of the pulmonary arteries and values and repair the ventricular septal defect. With proper treatment, most children with Tetralogy of Fallot go on to live relatively normal lives. Without adequate care, though, they may not develop or grow normally and may suffer fatal complications.

Elements of a Lawsuit Arising Out of the Failure to Diagnose Tetralogy of Fallot

Children and families that suffered harm because of a doctor’s negligent failure to provide them with a correct diagnosis may be able to recover damages in a medical malpractice lawsuit. Maryland imposes different statutes of limitations for medical malpractice claims pursued by minors and adults. Specifically, adults must generally file medical malpractice claims within five years of the date of harm or within three years of when the harm is discovered, whichever is shorter. Minors, however, have until three years after their eighteenth birthday to pursue medical malpractice claims.

Under Maryland law, a plaintiff that wishes to recover damages in a medical malpractice case typically must establish the defendant’s negligence. To do so, the plaintiff has to demonstrate that the defendant had a duty to provide treatment that comported with the prevailing standard of care and that the defendant breached this duty by deviating from the standard. The standard of care that applies is the degree of skill, treatment, and care that a reasonably prudent healthcare provider practicing in the same area would employ under similar circumstances.

The plaintiff will most likely need a medical expert to offer testimony explaining the standard and the manner in which the defendant breached the standard to the judge and jury. Usually, a person must possess adequate experience, training, and knowledge of the relevant practice area to be considered an expert.

The plaintiff must not only produce evidence sufficient to establish a duty and breach but also to demonstrate that the breach caused them to suffer actual harm. In other words, they must prove they would not have sustained losses but for the defendant’s breach of the standard of care. A plaintiff that successfully proves a defendant’s liability may be awarded damages to compensate for the financial, physical, and emotional losses caused by the defendant’s acts.

Confer with a Capable Baltimore Attorney

Tetralogy of Fallot can cause fatal complications if it is left untreated, and a prompt diagnosis is essential to a good prognosis. If your child suffered harm due to a physician’s failure to diagnose Tetralogy of Fallot, it is wise to speak to an attorney about what claims you and your child may be able to pursue. The capable Baltimore lawyers of Arfaa Law Group are adept at proving reckless doctors should be held accountable for the harm caused by their negligence, and if you hire us, we will diligently seek any damages you may be owed. We have an office in Baltimore, where we regularly represent parties in medical malpractice cases. You can contact us through our form online or by calling us at (410) 889-1850 to set up a confidential meeting.