Medical Malpractice–Hospitalized Children Hurt by High Number of Drug Errors

As a lawyer who handles medical malpractice cases in Illinois, Missouri as well as many other states, I was surprised by the new study which concluded that medicine mix-ups, overdoses and adverse drug reactions hurts one out of every 15 hospitalized children, the Associated Press reports.
The study, which appears in the April issue of the journal Pediatrics, shows that previous error estimates were much too low. To expose the alarming rate of mistakes, researchers shied away from the voluntary reports of hospital staff. Instead, they developed a methodology that outlined 15 specific triggers that could signal a drug-related error.
The triggers included the use of the drug naloxone, an antidote for the overdose of morphine and other painkillers; the use of vitamin K, used as an antidote for an overdose of the blood thinner Coumadin; and the use of two different lab tests, one that detects insulin overdoses and another that detects heparin overdoses.
Actor Dennis Quaid’s newborn twins received life-threatening doses of heparin last November. The babies eventually recovered. In response to the harrowing event, Quaid and his wife formed a foundation to prevent medical errors. His advice to parents of hospitalized kids:
“Every time a caregiver comes into the room, I would check and ask the nurse what they’re giving them and why.”
Quaid’s experience and the new study make clear that adults aren’t the only ones hurt by preventable medical mistakes. When avoidable mistakes are made, the medical profession should be held accountable.
The lawyers of Carey, Danis & Lowe are experienced in helping people injured by medical malpractice. We will seek compensation for past and future medical expenses, past and future wages, pain and suffering, disability and other damages. We also represent family members in wrongful death cases.
We offer a free initial consultation for victims of medical malpractice. If you cannot make it to our office, we will come to you at the hospital or your home.