Medical Errors in Pediatric Chemotherapy

This is one of the more depressing reports on medical malpractice that you are going to read. A new study from Johns Hopkins has found that the vast majority of errors in pediatric chemotherapy are not spotted until they have, in some way, affected the child. According to the study, doctors and other health care providers failed to identify errors in dosage or administration of drugs 85 percent of the time. Accordingly, the number of errors in treating these sick children are drastically underestimated. But this does not mean that the child is not impacted by these medical mistakes. Many complications are never attributed back to the chemotherapy because the child is so sick and at risk for so many complications.

Chemotherapy patients are particularly vulnerable to these medical mistakes because there is no usual dose. The amount of chemotherapy received usually depends on body weight. The dangers children; pediatric dosages generally are based on body size. The problem is exacerbated with chemotherapy because it is practically poison. Actually, coming from someone who has taken chemotherapy, it is poison. If you take three times the amount of oxycontin, you will sleep a little longer than you like, but no real harm is done. With chemo, this margin of error does not exist.

The Maryland Personal Injury Lawyer blog specifically avoids being trite or preachy. But let’s put that aside, just for today. Doctors and other health care providers have to be more careful in providing treatment to some of the sickest and most certainly our most innocent patients.

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