Keeping Children Safe—Eliminating Mistakes from the Children’s Healthcare Industry

In our last blog, our Maryland Attorneys from Lebowitz and Mzhen, LLC, discussed a recent pharmacy misfill, where an 8-year old boy received the wrong dosage of a medication that could have caused the child serious personal injury or even wrongful death.

According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), medical errors are one of the leading causes of injury and death in this country. The AHRQ reports that in a recent study, rates for potential adverse drug events in hospitals were three times higher with children than adults, with an even higher rate for infants in intensive care units.

The National Coordinating Council for Medication Error Reporting and Prevention, (NCCMERP), estimates that nearly 98,000 people experience death from medical errors that occur in hospitals every year. Medication errors can happen at any point in the healthcare process and system and can result in injury—from miscommunication with doctors, to prescribing the drug, dispensing drugs at the pharmacy, or in the administering or the process of monitoring the drugs.

The AHRQ recommends that single most important way to prevent medical errors from happening to your child, is to be an active participant with the healthcare team that is caring for your child. Research shows that parents who are involved in all aspects and decisions of a child’s care experience better and safer results.

In an effort to keep your child safe from medical mistakes, the AHRQ recommends that an important step for parents is to make sure that all doctors and healthcare professionals who are involved in your child’s care have all the necessary information about the condition of your child. The Federal agency also recommends to always be vocal if you have any questions or concerns about the care or treatment of your child, to ask about why certain tests or procedures are done or medications are being prescribed, and to always make sure to know who is in charge in a doctor’s office or hospital setting. The AHRQ also suggests asking doctors and nurses to explain your child’s condition and treatment, to better understand the prescribed treatment or surgery—and to make sure that the treatment is based on the latest scientific evidence, and therefore necessary.

If you or a loved one has been injured by a medication mistake or pharmacy misfill in Maryland or the Washington, D.C. area, contact the attorneys at Lebowitz and Mzhen, LLC for a free consultation. Call us today at 1-800-654-1949.

20 Tips to Help Prevent Medical Errors in Children, AHRQ Patient Fact Sheet

Related Web Resources:

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, (AHRQ)

Institute for Safe Medication Practices, (ISMP)

Institute of Medicine, (IOM)

National Coordinating Council for Medication Error Reporting and Prevention, (NCCMERP)

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