According to one study, the vast majority of newborn babies may be given medications that were never approved for them. The study pins the number around right around 90 percent.
Some have even gone so far as to call this entire process a guessing game, saying hospitals just try what they think will work and hope for the best. They don’t have the proper sign-off from the Food and Drug Administration saying that the medications and amounts are safe for the newborns.
A big part of the problem, reports claim, is that it’s just too hard to do proper tests to get the approval. It’s not that hospitals want to gamble, per se. It’s that the FDA usually does tests with medications before giving out the approval. While adults can volunteer for the tests, newborns can’t. Both doctors and parents don’t really want to use children to test out medications, with possibly adverse effects.
Companies are also worried about young children since they’re much more vulnerable than adults. The last thing they want is for the test to go poorly and have fatal results, when the same issues in an adult test group wouldn’t have proved deadly.
It is worth noting that the reports looked at children in neonatal intensive care units. This group needs more specific care and could get up to 60 different medical drugs in the first 30 days of life.
Hospitals must provide adequate care, and this is incredibly important for young children in neonatal units. If you believe they’ve been negligent and made medication mistakes while guessing, you may have a right to compensation.
Source: Huffington Post, “Giving Newborns Medicine Is A Dangerous Guessing Game. Can We Make It Safer?,” Megan Scudellari, Jan. 04, 2017