While medical mistakes are traumatic whenever they occur, pediatric medical
errors are particularly difficult for both parents and children. That’s
why it is important to determine how these errors happen and what can
be done to prevent them.
A new study involving
medical errors suffered by pediatric inpatients confirmed that many adverse events are completely preventable. While the
findings are understandably frustrating, the researchers are hopeful that
their results will help identify the most common causes of harm in pediatric
inpatient environments as well as provide a consistent approach to assessing
the effect of interventions on harms in hospitalized children.
reported by MedPageToday, the goal of the study, which was conducted at six academic children's
hospitals, was to assess the effectiveness of a new tool designed to measure
harm due to medical care in the pediatric setting. The new tool is intended
to detect triggers – defined as "a medical record based 'hint'
that 'triggers' the search of the medical record to determine
whether an adverse event might have occurred."
The Pediatric All-Cause Harm Measurement Tool (PACHMT) is based on a similar tool that has been successful for adult patients.
The study’s findings revealed that the novel tool is a promising
way to detect pediatric medical errors. They also highlight that medical
mistakes that result in harm are common among hospitalized children. From the 600 patient charts evaluated, 240 harmful events were identified,
resulting in a rate of 40 harmful events per 100 patients. Nearly one-quarter
of the pediatric patients suffered at least one harmful event.
Of the total medical harms, the researchers determined that 45 percent
were potentially or definitely preventable. The most common patient harms
were intravenous catheter infiltrations/burns, respiratory distress, constipation,
pain, and surgical complications.
If you or someone you love has suffered from medical negligence, don’t
contacta San Diego medical malpractice attorney at the Law Offices of Robert Vaage for a free consultation.