Children at risk from medication mistakes

On Behalf of | Jan 7, 2019 | Medical Malpractice |

When Iowa parents take their children to the doctor, they may not even consider that their kids could be at risk of a medical mistake. However, like all patients, children’s health can be put at risk when medical professionals make errors. The results of these doctor errors can be significant, and they may happen for a number of reasons. While some medical mistakes come down to misdiagnoses or errors in judgment, others can be exacerbated by confusion stemming from the use of electronic health records (EHRs).

A recent study analyzed over 9,000 reports of medical errors related to pediatric patient safety at three different health care facilities between 2012 and 2017. The researchers found that over half of all recorded mistakes were related to medication and the use of EHRs. Researchers said that the user interfaces of these systems can be confusing. In addition, EHR systems often fail to issue any kind of alert if a medication dosage appears to be incorrect. Most of the errors related to incorrect dosages of medication given to children, especially overdoses.

While 84.5 percent of the medication errors were related to dosage, another 3.5 percent were related to incorrect timing of medication administration. In 36 percent of cases, the researchers found that EHR issues contributed to the likelihood of a medication mistake. Of the reports investigated, 18.8 percent might have harmed the patient. This can be a particular risk in children, who often cannot tolerate the higher doses of medication given to adults.

A medication mistake may seem simple, but the consequences can be catastrophic. Some overdoses may lead to serious illness or permanent disabilities. However, a medical malpractice attorney can consult with a parent whose child suffered a worsened health condition due to a medical error about their options to pursue compensation.