Children with chronic illnesses more prone to medical mistakes

When you visit a hospital or clinic, you expect that the hospital, hospital staff and/or doctor will exercise a reasonable standard of care and do their best to keep you safe. Nevertheless, despite efforts to minimize medical mistakes and errors, they still occur frequently, causing harm to patients of all walks of life. When those mistakes happen, we can’t help but ask: Why? When they happen to our children, we feel even more compelled to seek an explanation and hold the negligent healthcare professionals accountable.

Residents of New Jersey may find it interesting to know that researchers looking at U.S hospital errors and children found that about three percent of hospitalized children experience a medical error. The risk is higher, about five percent, when the child has chronic health conditions.

According to the researchers, the disparate findings are not surprising, since children with chronic health issues may stay at hospitals for longer periods and their conditions may be complicated.

Examples of preventable medical errors included complications during surgery, adverse reaction to medication, infection after surgery and even bedsores. The study further noted that when families are caring for a child with a chronic illness at home, they can also make mistakes such as giving the wrong medication dose or missing it altogether.

Dealing with the illness of a loved one is not easy, particularly when it is a child. When it comes to healthcare, hospitals, hospital staff and doctors have an on-going duty to provide a reasonable standard of care and make our challenges easier, not more difficult.

If a negligent doctor and/or hospital has done something or omitted to do something that caused your child an injury that he or she would not have suffered without the medical error, you may be entitled to damages, such as past and future medical expenses, loss of earning capacity, pain and suffering, and more.

Source: Reuters, “More hospital errors when kids have chronic ills,” Amy Norton, Sept. 11, 2012

Posted in: Medical Malpractice