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Faulty medication administration leads to death of children

Many Miami residents take their prescribed medication without much thought as to what they are ingesting. This trust in doctors and nurses derives from society's expectation that medical professionals are properly trained to diagnose conditions and treat them accordingly. Unfortunately, this ideal is not reality. Medication errors happen all too often, and the results can be fatal.

A recent study published in the Journal of Pediatric Nursing shows that the administration of medication to children is often erroneous. According to the study, children frequently received the wrong medication, the wrong dosage of medicine, or the medicine was given at the wrong time. During the three-month study period, four pediatric deaths resulted from erroneous administration of drugs and 245 actual medication errors took place. These mistakes were attributed to excessive workload, lapses in communication and distraction amongst nurses.

Though medical professionals may come under stress, there is no excuse for them to place their patients in danger. Taking the wrong medicine or a wrong dosage can be fatal, and if not fatal, then severely damaging, leaving the patient with serious injuries. These harms can be difficult to recover from physically, emotionally and financially.

A medical malpractice claim against an errant doctor or nurse can pave the way to a full recovery. By proving that a medical professional's duty of care was breached resulting in the victim's harm, a plaintiff can obtain compensation. These awards can then be used to pay medical expenses and reimburse for pain and suffering. This way, victims can obtain the best care possible without having to worry about costs and thus obtain the fullest recovery possible.

In tragic cases where the victim dies, a surviving family member can file suit for wrongful death derived from the hospital medication error. Here, the family member must prove the medical professional was negligent and the negligence causes the victim's death. If successful, the family member can receive compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and loss of consortium.

Source: Medical Xpress, "Study shows medication errors lead to child fatalities," Jan. 18, 2013

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