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Children with chronic illnesses at risk for medical malpractice

When someone is injured by his or her physician, there is a very real potential that the patient will have a considerable amount of pain, suffering or long-term effects. When those patients are children, they are often far-less equipped to deal with the negative consequences of a medical mistake. And, for some juvenile patients, they may have to live with the result of a medical mistake for the rest of their lives.

With this is mind, it may come as a particular shock to parents in Troy that children with chronic illnesses are more likely to be the victims of medical mistakes than children without any long-term medical conditions. When a child is admitted to the hospital, he or she stands a 1.3 percent chance that he or she will be the subject of a medical error. If that child has a chronic condition, however, the number jumps to over 5 percent. For children with two or more chronic illnesses, the number climbed as high as 7 percent.

Though individuals within the medical field do say that there are things parents can do to help reduce the risk of medical malpractice, it is ultimately the physician and hospital's responsibilities to prevent any mistakes from happening. It is true that parents can ask that the child's pediatrician coordinate all aspects of care or consistently ask questions about how the child's care is progressing, but that also shifts the focus away from those who should be preventing medical mistakes to begin with.

Ultimately, anyone, child or adult, that is injured by a doctor or hospital error in New York can hold the responsible party liable under a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Source: Reuters, "More hospital errors when kids have chronic ills," Amy Norton, September 11, 2012

Stop by our New York medical malpractice page to learn more.

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