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Pediatric tool review shows promise but lack of accuracy

Your child is the most important person in your life, and rightly so. That's why it may be disturbing that there's been a report that close to half of the pediatric medial errors were actually preventable, putting children at risk when they didn't need to be.

According to the May 18 article, a pilot study has been launched to try to decide which triggers cause the most harm. After looking at a review of 600 patient charts, it was found that 45 percent had medical harms that were assessed as being preventable.

The rate of harm, which was 40 incidences per 100 patients and 54.9 injuries per 1,000 patient days, may be high, but that's not the only concern here. The paperwork also showed that 24.3 percent of patients had one or less harms take place, while 8.5 percent experienced multiple instances.

What kind of harm took place? Things like surgical complications, pain, burns, respiratory distress and other issues. What's also troubling is that the only reason most of these issues were discovered was because of patients discussing their injuries. This is despite the fact that the injuries and illnesses should have been caught through the Pediatric All-Cause Harm Measurement Tool.

While the tool was developed to help catch and prevent injuries with proper reporting, it's not a good sign that most injuries went uncaught by the system. More studies will need to be performed to decide if this system is one that should be implemented in hospitals to catch and stop injuries to children in their care.

Source: MedPage Today, "Nearly Half of Pediatric Medical Errors Deemed Preventable," Molly Walker, accessed May. 19, 2015

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