All patients, both big and small, must remain extremely careful when it comes to taking prescribed drugs. Risk always exists in some form when foreign subjects are put into the body. Of course prescriptions are required for the most potent medications under the assumption that doctors are pharmacists are best trained to ensure that accidents and abuses with these substances are avoided. Unfortunately, medication errors errors still occur frequently, often with deadly effects. New information suggests that it may represent one of the most common forms of Illinois medical malpractice.
The risk of deadly consequences are always highest in the youngest and most vulnerable members of our society-infants. Yet, as HealthDay News reported last weekend, a percentage of those young patients continue to be victims of risky prescription overdoses. Researchers found that 4 percent of all toddlers under 3 years old were given too much medication, and upwards of 40 percent of all infants under 2 months over were given far too high a dosage. The information even used a conservative estimate of the patients’ age and weight which may mean that the results are even lower than reported here.
The study involved an analysis of 19 types of drug prescriptions given to children enrolled in Medicaid from 2000 to 2006. The staggering results showed that 4 in 10 infants under 2 months received more medication than was safe. Ten percent of patients in that age range actually received double the necessary dose. This represents very clear and consistent mistakes made by medical professionals that place the lives of vulnerable young children at risk.
Our Chicago medical malpractice lawyers at Levin & Perconti know that mistakes that injure or kill a young child are often the most traumatizing forms of medical error. Blog readers have likely read of the death of young children from accidental dosing errors. These tragedies can almost always be prevented if reasonable steps are taken to prevent oversights and ensure proper measurement.
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