10222017Headline:

Vancouver, Washington

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Don Jacobs
Don Jacobs
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Medicine mix-ups hurt many children

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The above headline highlighted an article in the Vancouver Washington paper this week.  The article went on to say 1 in 15 children admitted to hospitals were harmed by drug mix-ups or accidental overdoses.  Readers may recall the nightmare actor Dennis Quaid and his wife went through last November.  His newborn twins were negligently given a large overdose of the blood thinner heparin.  The overdose was life threatening.  Fortunately the twins survived, but the actor called it “the most frightening time of my life”.  His advice to any parent with a child in the hospital?  “Every time a caregiver comes into the room, I would check and ask the nurse what they are giving them and why,” Quaid said.   The 1 in 15 children harmed figure came from the first scientific test of a new detection method.  The number of mistakes found was much higher than people in the industry predicted.  A doctor from the National Initiative for Children’s Healthcare Quality, who helped put together the detection tool used to conduct the study was quoted as saying, “These data and the Dennis Quaid episode are telling us that … these kinds of errors and experiencing harm as a result of your health care is much more common than people believe.  It’s very concerning”.  Very concerning is an understatement.  When you have a one in fifteen chance of your child being injured as a result of hospital negligence just from medicine mix-ups or overdoses, it’s more than concerning.  It’s frightening.  When you take your child to a hospital you have to trust they know what they’re doing and will take care of your child.  You have to believe your son or daughter will be safe there and get help for whatever ails them.  With the outcome of this study, that trust appears misplaced.