Help Prevent Pediatric Medical Errors

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https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c0/US_Navy_060527-N-3153C-042_Navy_Lt.Cmdr._Elizabeth_Ferrara,_pediatrician,_checks_a_young_boy%5Ersquo,s_vital_signs_onboard_the_hospital_ship_USNS_Mercy_(T-AH_19).jpgA study, although conducted in 2001, pointed out that medication errors were three times more likely to occur in children than adults. The rate of other medical errors was comparable. As a parent, the last thing you expect when visiting the pediatrician with your child is negligence or error.

Unfortunately, errors among pediatric patients do occur. There are some things that you can do to help avoid those errors. From mistakes to misdiagnoses, keeping your child safe at the doctor is partly in your hands. Here is what you can do:

1. Share All Medical Information

Make sure that the pediatrician is aware of your child’s entire medical history. This is especially important if you are switching to a new doctor or hospital.

2. Take Medications With You

It’s easy to forget a supplement or medication. If your child is taking anything, take the bottle with you. This allows your doctor to read the label and protect your child from any potential complications.

3. Ask Questions

When you pick up your child’s medication, ask questions. You should walk away knowing exactly what the medication is, what it is for, the correct dosage, and any potential side effects or dangerous combinations.

4. Understand the Treatment

Be sure that you understand the treatment your child is to be given before it is administered. This is imperative if your child is scheduled for surgery. You, your partner and the medical staff should all agree on the procedure before it is performed.

5. Home Care Instructions

You will be anxious to get your child home, but don’t let your excitement impede your understanding of home care instructions. Know the limitations your child is placed under and if you have any questions, speak up.

6. Know the Team

In some cases, a child is taken care of by a team of medical professionals. Get to know the name of each one, their specialty and their role in your child’s care.

7. Bring an Advocate

Consider taking a friend or family member with you to your child’s appointment. Choose someone you can trust to speak up on your child’s behalf or remind you of the things you are forgetting to ask.

8. Why?

If a doctor orders a test, ask why. Know what the doctor hopes to discover or rule out.

9. Results

If lab tests are ordered, find out when you can expect results. If you are not contacted regarding those results in a timely manner, do not hesitate to call the doctor’s office to make an inquiry.

10. Learn

One of the best ways to advocate for your child is to understand their condition. Ask the medical staff for information that they can provide directly. Ask about any trusted resources you can use on your own to find out more.

You are your child’s first line of defense when it comes to medical error and negligence. Never feel as if you don’t have a voice in the doctor’s office. Your child cannot ask the questions that need to be asked…that job is up to you.

If you believe that your child has been injured due to a medical mistake, our team is here for you. Let us provide you with a free case evaluation today. Call now or browse our website for more information about our firm and how we can assist you.

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