Visitor Question

Premature baby had a partially collapsed lung at birth…

Submitted By: Hollye (Bedminster, NJ)

My son was born 6 weeks premature and remained in the NICU for 9 days.

We were never informed that he had a partially collapsed lung and did not find out until he was 6 months old.

We took him to a pulmonologist who informed us that after reviewing his newborn x-ray, he noticed that my son had a partially collapsed lung at birth that had subsequently healed itself.

My son has suffered breathing issues since he was a few months old and has been diagnosed with asthma and pneumonia.

I am wondering if his lung issues can be connected back to the collapsed lung that was never treated and can we file a malpractice suit? Isn’t the MD responsible to give us all the medical information about our baby, especially something as serious as this that has other ramifications? This seems like negligence.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Hollye,

While we’re happy to discuss medical malpractice issues, you will need a qualified physician to determine whether or not your son’s present diagnosis of asthma and pneumonia are directly related to the collapsed lung he suffered at birth.

Physicians should make clear to patients, or in your case, the mother, about any salient medical issues. But to rise to the level of malpractice, the initial doctor’s failure to discuss the collapsed lung must be the direct and proximate cause of your son’s diagnosis of asthma and pneumonia.

You son’s best interests would be served by seeking several medical opinions from qualified physicians. If, after discussing your son’s experience, one or more physicians concur that the failure to disclose or treat your son’s collapsed lung led to asthma and pneumonia, then your next step will be to contact several malpractice attorneys in your area. Most will not charge for an initial office consultation.

If the attorney(s) think your son’s claim has merit after reviewing the facts and medical evidence, on behalf of your son, the attorney will likely accept your case on a contingency fee basis.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: January 16, 2014

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