Regular surgery, performed on adults, is usually done by standard surgeons. In contrast, pediatric surgery is typically performed by a medical specialist such as a surgeon with expertise in treating a specific health problem. The surgeon performs the necessary medical procedure to correct, repair, or treat a health issue.

What Is Pediatric Surgery?

Pediatric surgery is an area of medicine devoted to operating of children ranging from infants to teenagers. The sub-specialty involves diagnosing and treating illnesses and medical conditions that may be unique to or more present in children.

What Does a Pediatric Surgeon Do?

A pediatric surgeon is responsible for:

  • Developing a treatment plan for the child
  • Conducting pre-operative exams
  • Performing the necessary surgery on the child
  • Tracking the child’s progress
  • Working closely with the child’s parents or guardian regarding the child’s care

When Does a Child Need Pediatric Surgery?

A child typically needs surgery if:

  • The child was born with a congenital defect
  • Treatment includes improving mobility, such as repairing clubbed feet or bowed legs
  • Corrective surgery is needed such as repairing a cleft palate
  • A complication like an infection or excessive bleeding has occurred

Can Medical Negligence Occur During Pediatric Surgery?

Just as medical negligence can occur during an adult’s surgery, medical negligence can by committed by a surgeon during pediatric surgery. Medical negligence is the improper, negligent or unskilled treatment of a patient by a medical professional, such as a surgeon or medical specialist. It frequently serves as the foundation of a medical malpractice claim.

What Is Medical Malpractice?

Medical malpractice is a personal injury claim where a patient or patient’s family member sues the surgeon because of the surgeon's negligence. The surgeon was supposed to employ a particular standard of care in the actions involving the patient. However, because of negligence, they provided substandard care.

What Types of Medical Malpractice Can Occur during Pediatric Surgery?

A pediatric surgeon may surgical errors during an operation, such as:

  • Incorrect surgical procedure
  • Wrong-site surgery
  • Not using proper suturing
  • Not providing adequate treatment after surgery that may lead to the child developing complications such as an infection

Can Only Surgeons Make Medical Errors during Pediatric Surgery?

No. Any medical professional connected to the surgery can be liable for mistakes, such as:

  • Anesthesiologists can make anesthesia errors
  • Nurses or physicians can make medication errors
  • Physicians can make diagnosis errors, incorrectly diagnosing the problem that necessitates surgery and suggesting an incorrect or unnecessary surgical procedure
  • Nurses and other hospital staff may make errors while prepping the patient for surgery, assisting the surgeon during surgery, or providing post-surgical care

Do I Need a Lawyer Regarding Negligent Pediatric Surgery?

Yes. If your child was injured because of medical negligence involving pediatric surgery, contact a personal injury lawyer. A lawyer will help you negotiate a settlement with the defendant or litigate your case in court.