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Medication errors causing harm to children

When children fall ill, parents in Pennsylvania and elsewhere are not only concerned about what is ailing their child, but also whether the recommended course of treatment is right for their child. With regards to infants and toddlers, the concern heightens, fearing that a slight mistake with medication could prove fatal. Although medical professionals are trained and educated on how to properly treat and administer medication to children, medication mistakes unfortunately occur, causing young patients harm and pain.

Whether a parent is sent home with a prescription or a medication is administered to a child patient, the very thing that could make the patient well could also prove harmful, even fatal. When it comes to young patients, this does not only involve nurses and other medical professionals administering prescribed drugs to the young patient, but also likely involves parents going home with prescribed drugs to administer to their child.

Medication errors, such as wrong medication or wrong dosage, could occur in both the medical setting and at home. Medical professionals are required to look for patient identifiers, look at patient information and communicate with other hospital staff prior to administering medications. Failure to do so could result in a serious medication error.

Moreover, parents rely on the information provided to them by medical professionals when it comes to caring for their sick child at home. If a parent is given information regarding dosage, type of medications and how often to administer a medication, a parent will follow that information. But, if that information is erroneous and still followed because the parent was directed to, this could result in harm to the child.

If a child has been harmed because of a medication error, it is important to understand what rights are afforded to injured patients. A medical malpractice claim could provide compensation, helping to offset the damages caused.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, "Sick Children Face Potentially Deadly Danger: Medication Errors," Hannah Furfaro, Sept. 25, 2016

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