In Boston and across the nation, patients who visit medical professionals seeking help with an illness are placing their trust in their doctors. That trust is sometimes violated by a negligent physician making a mistake. These mistakes are especially serious when they involve children. A new study shows that medication errors involving children occur approximately every eight minutes. Some of these result in no injury. Some, however, make the child sick or even result in death.
The study focused on an 11-year span between 2002 and 2012 and found that more than 200,000 mistakes occur annually. A large number of them, 30 percent, are with children under the age of six. The vast majority of the mistakes were involving liquid medication. The rate of errors decreased as children got older, but that is of little consolation to parents whose children were put in danger or actually harmed because of medication errors like administering an incorrect drug.
Twenty-seven percent of the errors happened when the child was given the same medicine too frequently. While most of the children who were given the wrong drug or took the drug in an improper dosage were not hurt, there were 25 fatalities due to medication errors. Not only are these mistakes dangerous, but they can end up costing a significant amount more in health care for children who have been harmed by a wrong drug incident.
If a child becomes ill or, in a worst case scenario, dies as a result of administering an incorrect drug, it’s one of the most difficult things for a parent to try and recover from because it didn’t have to happen. Placing trust in a medical professional is natural, but if there is an error made and there are medical bills and other aftereffects, it’s important to discuss the matter with a qualified legal professional to consider litigation.
Source: Time, “Child medication errors occur every 8 minutes, study says,” Alexandra Sifferlin, Oct. 20, 2014