Medical mix-ups hurt 1 in 15 hospitalized kids

An article in the recent Lawyers Weekly states that accidental overdoses, bad drug reactions and medicine mix-ups harm roughly one out of 15 hospitalized children, according to a study published in the April issue of the medical journal Pediatrics.
That number is far higher than earlier estimates.

Last year, this area received a lot of public attention because actor Dennis Quaid notified the public about what happened to his children. Quaid's twins received accidental life-threatening heparin overdoses in a Los Angeles hospital shortly after they were born last November. The actor and his wife, Kimberly, have since formed a foundation to prevent medical errors.

Research has shown that relying on hospital employees to report such a mistake would reveal less than 4 percent of the malpractice.

More than half the problems the study found were related to overdoses and allergic reactions to pain killers like morphine. Symptoms include shallow breathing and low blood pressure.