Humans are, by their nature, flawed beings. No one is perfect, and this extends to the medical community. Doctors make mistakes as they are only human. Sadly, in too many cases, a medical mistake can have serious or catastrophic consequences. A recent study showed that a disproportionate number of mistakes in Ohio and around the country involved children.
The study revealed that communication, or lack of clear communication, contributed to many of the cases. This included communication between doctors, specialists and lab personnel as well as between doctors and parents. Failure to communicate test results and inadequate communication between doctors and parents regarding post-traumatic home care both contributed to patient misdiagnoses, which then resulted in medical claims.
The study looked at children from birth to age 17. The main injury for which claims were filed were head traumas resulting in brain injury. The vast majority of these occurred within the first year of life, and those injuries were also among the most severe. The study results prompted members of the medical community to realize that communication, oral and written, among the doctor, the family and the patient is of paramount importance. Also, families must be aware of warning signs that demand immediate action, particularly with a newborn.
When one’s child is injured, it can be terrifying. The severity of an injury is not always immediately apparent. A parent in a doctor’s office with a sick or injured child may be easily overwhelmed by what a doctor is saying, and the lack of written explanation and instruction may cause later confusion. A person in Ohio whose child has suffered an injury or illness that may have led to a more serious condition as a result of a medical mistake may wish to consult with a personal injury attorney. A lawyer can review the situation and inform the client regarding what legal options may be available.