Medical Errors in Pediatric Patients
Written by Faith Anderson on September 15, 2012
Children Affected by Medical Mistakes
The Pediatrics study analyzed data from 38 U.S. states included in the 2006 Kids’ Inpatient Database in order to examine medical error rates per 100 hospital discharges and per 1,000 inpatient days. According to the study’s findings, not only was the rate of medical mistakes higher per 100 hospital discharges for children with chronic conditions, but it was also higher per 1,000 inpatient days in chronically ill children. The study authors determined in their research that, among hospitalized pediatric patients without a chronic condition, only 1.3% were the victim of a medical error. Hospitalized children suffering from a chronic illness however, were 5% more likely to be adversely affected by a medical mistake.
Medical Errors Not Uncommon in U.S. Hospitals
Medical errors identified by the study included adverse reactions to medications, abnormal complications of specific medical procedures, bedsores and infections. It is unclear in the scope of the study how severe the medical mistakes were, or if they resulted in any significant or long-lasting side effects for the children. The results of this study suggest that medical errors and complications are more common in children who already suffer from at least one chronic medical condition, and that the percentage of these errors increases with the number of concurrent chronic illnesses the child experiences. In other words, the more ongoing conditions a child struggles with, the more likely he or she is to suffer a medical error after hospitalization.
Medical Malpractice Claims for Medical Errors
According to a report compiled by the Institute of Medicine in November 1999, nearly 98,000 people died in hospitals every year as a result of medical mistakes that could have been avoided. The increased risk of medical errors in chronically ill children analyzed in this study could be the result of longer hospitalization periods, or their current illness could be complicated by the previous ongoing condition. If your chronically ill child has been the victim of medical malpractice or a medical error, consult a qualified medical malpractice lawyer to explore your compensation options. You may have grounds to file a medical malpractice lawsuit against the doctor or hospital responsible for your child’s care, in order to pursue financial compensation for your child’s illness, medical bills, pain and suffering, and other damages.