My newborn baby developed Hirschsprung’s Disease. My pediatrician failed to diagnose it. Can I hold the pediatrician liable for medical malpractice?

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I’m sorry to hear about your child’s medical issue. Hirschprung’s Disease is a rare condition in which a newborn suffers from bowel contraction which leads to intestinal blockages. Although this is a rare condition, the symptoms are easy to detect, and there are treatment options available which allow the patient to live a normal life. If a doctor fails to diagnose the disease, the child’s parents may choose to file a medical malpractice lawsuit.

About a quarter of all intestinal blockages in newborns are caused by Hirschsprung’s Disease. Hirschsprung’s Disease is caused by the absence of certain nerve cells in the large intestine that are responsible for preventing contractions or narrowing in the bowel. If the bowel contracts, material can build up in the intestines, and the pressure can lead to a perforated intestine or a ruptured bowel.

The symptoms of Hirschsprung’s Disease are very noticeable. They include irregular bowel movements, vomiting, and an enlarged colon. In addition, most babies pass a dark green material in the first 48 hours after birth called meconium – if a child fails to pass meconium, that is a sign of Hirschsprung’s Disease. If there is a buildup of waste in your child, that can result in high amounts of pressure inside your child’s intestine. It can cause an intestinal rupture or perforation, which can result in massive internal bleeding, septic shock, and death.

To treat Hirschsprung’s Disease, surgery must be performed. There are several types of surgical procedures that can be done. Most begin with a colostomy and require another procedure several years later. Children with Hirschsprung’s Disease normally are placed on high fiber diets and will use laxatives and enemas to stay regular and prevent intestinal blockages.

If a doctor fails to diagnose and treat your child’s Hirschsprung’s Disease, your doctor can be held liable. Hirschsprung’s Disease has very visible symptoms, and a reasonable doctor should have tested for the disease when presented with those symptoms. Call the Houston medical malpractice attorneys at Kennedy Hodges at 855-947-0707 to learn more about your legal options. You can also visit our Facebook page to learn more.

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