How You Can Protect Your Child from Medical Errors

Posted on March 14, 2016 by Shapiro Law Group

In prior blogs, we have discussed how children can become the victims of preventable medical mistakes. For example, famous actor Dennis Quaid’s children almost died after being given blood thinners at 1,000 times the recommended dosage. Fortunately, new studies suggest you can protect your child from medical errors.

A recent study published in JAMA Pediatrics claims parents can significantly decrease the odds their children will be affected by medical errors. Researchers reviewed patient data for 383 patients over one year to discover how parents are protecting their children from mistakes.

According to the data, 34 parents reported medical errors, and 23 of those cases involved actual mistakes. Data also showed that 30 percent of the 23 reported safety incidents were preventable mistakes. Parents participating in the study were successful in preventing mistakes partially because they communicated concerns with doctors.

How can you help your child avoid falling victim to a medical mistake?

  • You should maintain regular communication with your child’s health care providers because only you can give doctors information that would otherwise be inaccessible. Children are much less likely to communicate their health concerns with doctors.
  • You should research and be selective about which doctors and hospitals provide treatment for your child. Websites such as HospitalSafetyScore can help parents make informed choices.
  • If you are able to, second opinions can help catch errors. In some cases, other doctors can prevent, or even fix, the consequences of medical mistakes.

Why Medical Mistakes Are Unacceptable

Children who are affected by medical mistakes have longer hospital stays and worse health outcomes. Some children may be affected by medical mistakes for the rest of their lives, or could even die. We gave the example of Dennis Quaid’s children at the start of this blog because that medical mistake could have been fatal.

Doctors, hospitals and health care providers should always practice extra caution when treating children. Children do not deserve to have their lives destroyed or taken away by preventable medical mistakes.

Tags: Pediatrics


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