For Infant with Mild Kidney Scarring

Kathleen Kettles recently settled the New York portion of a case involving New York and New Jersey doctors. The case involved the failure to diagnose kidney abnormalities of a baby in utero. During the mother’s pregnancy, a sonogram indicated there were structural abnormalities of both kidneys of the fetus. Accepted obstetric practice mandated that the obstetrics group advise the parents or pediatrician to obtain a sonogram shortly after birth. Most abnormalities detected on fetal ultrasounds are resolved by the time of birth. However, in this case, the infant was born with a non-functional left kidney and mild dilation of the right ureter and kidney.

As a result of the failure to advise of the need for follow up, there was a delay in diagnosis. The baby’s pediatrician, who was not informed of the sonographic findings, failed to properly work-up the child’s symptoms and her condition remained undiagnosed for 15 months. The delay caused scarring of her remaining kidney and she will need monitoring of her kidney function for life. Despite some early problems because of the misdiagnosis, the infant is a normal, happy child and her family knows now she will have financial resources should she require further treatment.

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