According to a study conducted by Massachusetts researchers, parents in New Mexico and around the U.S. might be likely to catch errors on their children that have been missed by doctors. The study was published in JAMA Pediatrics and examined data on almost 400 children at a Boston hospital from 2013 and 2014.
Almost 9 percent of parents reported incidents, and a total of 37 incidents were reported. Medical mistakes were responsible for 23 errors, and of those, 30 percent were preventable errors that led to harm. Examples were one child getting stool in a wound site and another developing an infection from an intravenous catheter. Parents also noted problems with pain medication and urinary retention as well as leaving an object behind after surgery. Some errors occurred due to poor communication. Other quality issues were responsible for nine mistakes and five cases were not safety problems. Longer hospital stays were associated with medical errors.
The researchers have said that the study was limited by several factors. It looked at data from only one hospital and the parent demographic tended to be female, affluent and well-educated. They were also English speakers. Researchers speculated that parents who do not speak English may have reported even higher error rates.
Parent who notice a doctor error that has caused their children to be harmed may want to speak to an attorney to see what recourse may be available. For example, a parent might notice that a health care professional has given a child the wrong medication. This could slow the child’s recovery, and it could be dangerous for the child. This might be considered medical negligence, and the parent may want to file a lawsuit seeking compensation from the medical facility and practitioner.