Medical malpractice in children may have more serious consequences than in adults

Medical mistakes in treating children may cause more serious problem then in adults says a health report in the New York Times. Because children have immature immune systems and lower body weights they be react more severely to medication errors and infection.

The Times article cites a study in Pediatrics journal which reports that medication problems in children occur to 11% of the children admitted to a hospital. Children are also victims of diagnostic errors which can result in “serious complications or death.” Children are often are unable to communicate their symptoms or medical professionals may misjudge a patient for having a tantrum or nerves when the child is displaying acute symptoms of discomfort. One malpractice study found that in the Emergency Room, physicians were most likely to miss symptoms of meningitis, appendicitis and broken arms.

Prescription errors can occur in the hospital and at home. In adults, many medications come in a pre-packaged standardized dose. In children, the medication more often have to be formulated and measured and this is where pharmacists can make mistakes.

Experts tell parents with a child in the hospital to be vigiland and:

  • Make sure your child always has their ID bracelet on
  • Make sure all health care providers wash their hands
  • Make sure all members of the surgical team knows exactly what the procedure is
  • Review your child’s condition with their physician and nurses daily
  • Keep an eye on IVs, catheters and incision, looking for any sign of infection or misplacement
  • Ask questions about diagnosis and treatment
  • Keep your own records including medications and allergies
  • Double check orders and double check the medications and dosages your child is given

This information was brought to you by Washington Injury Attorney blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. We are medical malpractice specialists for Washington State and the greater Seattle area. If you believe your child was harmed because of a medical malpractice be it in the hospital or outpatient, consult with us for a free case review.

Contact The Farber Law Group today.