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20 Tips to Help Prevent Medical Errors on Children

Written by Berkowitz

medical malpracticeMedical errors do not just affect adults – they affect children, too. Unfortunately, when these errors happen to children, parents can be left cleaning up the aftermath, and children could be affected for the rest of their lives. Children rely on their parents to provide them with medical care, and parents rely on medical professionals. As a parent, you can prevent errors in your child’s care, or significantly reduce the likelihood that your child will experience one in his or her lifetime.

What are Medical Errors?

Medical errors occur in all aspects of the healthcare system. They are errors or things that go wrong when planned medical care does not work as it should have, or the wrong treatment/plan was used in the first place.

20 Ways in Which You Can Prevent Errors in Your Child’s Care

  1. Be an active member of your child’s healthcare team, and speak up if you do not feel that your child is receiving proper care. Every decision should be made with ample information.
  2. Make sure that your child’s care provider knows all of his or her medical history, as well as any medications that are being taken – including over-the-counter vitamins and medicines.
  3. Make sure that your child’s doctor is aware of any allergies or reactions to medications.
  4. When you pick up prescription medications, go over the instructions with the pharmacist and verify that the medicine you receive is the one that your child was prescribed.
  5. Ask for information about medications before accepting them – including why it was prescribed, the dosage, how it will help your child, potential side effects, etc.
  6. If the medicine label does not make sense, clarify it with the pharmacist, or contact your child’s physician right away.
  7. Ask a pharmacist for the best way to administer the medication, or the best measuring device for liquid medications.
  8. When your child’s doctor writes a prescription, make sure that you can read it and understand what it says.
  9. Choose a hospital that is designed for children – especially if your child is receiving a surgical procedure.
  10. Ask health care workers to wash their hands prior to handling your child.
  11. Ask for detailed treatment plans any time that a doctor or healthcare provider suggests treatments for your child.
  12. If your child is having surgery, make sure that you agree on the procedure, and understand exactly what is being done – as well as any risks.
  13. If you have concerns, always question and never be afraid to voice your opinion.
  14. Make sure that you know your child’s pediatrician and his or her contact information at all times.
  15. Make sure that all healthcare professionals who are treating your child have information about the medical history.
  16. Ask friends and family members to attend appointments for you when you cannot be there – do not leave it to a nanny or babysitter.
  17. When tests or procedures are being ordered, ask why they are being performed and what the results could tell you.
  18. If your child has a test, ask when you can expect to see the results.
  19. Learn about your child’s condition (once properly diagnosed), and ask for resources from your child’s doctor.
  20. Get detailed information about how to treat or manage your child’s condition. Ask to see the latest scientific evidence or treatment recommendations from the National Guideline Clearinghouse, as well.

Was Your Child Injured Due to Inadequate Care? Contact a Malpractice Attorney

While you can do everything possible to protect your child, there may be an instance where harm still comes to your child. When that harm is caused by the negligence or oversight of a medical professional, you have the right to hold him or her accountable for those actions. To do so, you need a medical malpractice advocate. Contact Berkowitz and Hanna LLC today to schedule a no-obligation case evaluation. Contact us online to get started.