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Study finds parents are helpful at detecting medical errors

Parents in North Carolina who have children in the hospital may want to speak up if they suspect that there has been a medical error. According to a study conducted at a hospital in Boston, parents of hospitalized children often notice medical errors that doctors miss. The lead author of the study stated that when parents provide information to pediatric doctors, it helps to keep children safer while they are hospitalized.

The study was done by surveying parents about the experiences that they had while their children were hospitalized. Among the 383 children's parents, 8.9 percent reported noticing at least one medical mistake. Doctors reviewed the surveys and found that 62 percent of the parents' reports were true medical mistakes, 24 percent were quality issues and 14 percent were neither mistakes nor quality issues.

Some of the preventable medical errors that parents reported in their surveys included infections, objects left behind after procedures and medication errors. One factor that parents said caused the errors was miscommunication between hospital staff. The authors of the study acknowledged the fact that the study was limited by the type of parents who participated in it. The study only surveyed English-speaking parents, and most of the parents were wealthy mothers with a high level of education.

A parent who has witnessed one or more medical errors take place during their child's hospital stay might want to speak with an attorney. The parent may seek help from the attorney to assess the value of the monetary damages caused by medical mistakes. In many cases, medical mistakes result in longer, more expensive hospital stays. Parents of a hospitalized child may decide to file a medical malpractice claim in order to pursue compensation for the added expenses caused by medical errors.

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