Hospitalized children suffering from a chronic condition have a higher chance of being the victims of medical errors than children who have no chronic health problems. While 1.3 percent of children who do not suffer from a chronic illness experienced a medical error, five percent of children who did suffer from a chronic illness were exposed to medical errors. Even though this error rate appears low, medical professionals need to work to prevent errors affecting patients, especially vulnerable populations such as children.
The higher error rate among children with chronic conditions is not unexpected. These children tend to stay in the hospital longer and the conditions they suffer from may be more complicated. Additionally, if the number of conditions the child has becomes higher, the risk of medical error will increase as well. A child with one chronic illness has an average error rate of three percent. However, when the number of chronic illnesses is two then the error rate is closer to seven percent.
The medical errors included in these statistics were:
- Adverse reactions to medication,
- Infection following surgery, and
- Bed sores.
Even though these conditions are preventable they are still considered to be medical errors. Since infections are one of the most common complications in hospitals across the United States, it is one that receives the most focus and funding to improve the safety of patients.
Parents can also take steps to protect their children from medical errors. First, they should ask questions of the medical professionals involved in their child’s care. Additionally, there should be someone who is coordinating their child’s care, such as a pediatrician, to ensure that everyone has the same information. Parents also need to understand the at home medication regimen of their child, especially if their child suffers from multiple conditions. However, if there is a medical error that results in the child’s injury, then the child’s doctor can be sued for medical malpractice to provide the victim with compensation.
If you have a child who has been the victim of medical malpractice, contact an experienced Kingston, New York medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible to evaluate your case.
But what do you think? I would love to hear from you! Leave a comment or I also welcome your phone call on my toll-free cell at 1-866-889-6882 or you can drop me an e-mail at [email protected] You are always welcome to request my FREE book, The Seven Deadly Mistakes of Malpractice Victims, at the home page of my website at www.protectingpatientrights.com.