Paediatric medical errors

Nuspiel Article






Information on paediatric medical errors carried out during emergency response is usually not available or sufficient. Implementation of non-punitive error reporting is thus essential to promote safety of a patient in paediatric practice.  The increase in error reporting may majorly be due to staff education and efforts to surmount the habitual blaming culture among the staff to avoid civil liability.

The study shows that the various errors that occur in the paediatric medical care delivery are contributed by the medical service personnel. The nurses, physicians, laboratory staff and mid level providers contribute to approximately 77% of the errors.  Most errors occur during treatment as a result of administration of wrong medication, inappropriate orders on prescription and dispensing, followed by mishaps in the identification of patients. Vaccines missed or administered in the wrong time also contribute to the errors that are encountered during treatment of paediatric patients. Information on patients misfiled or entered wrongly contributes to about 68% of the paediatric medical errors. During emergency cases, fatalities occur as a result of delays in laboratory testing, in office care and interpretation of test results. Additionally lack of consent from an accompanying adult is included. Low number of staff is also another cause of medical errors because there is adequate concentration to one patient (Nuspiel 2011).

These problems that lead to the errors should be identified, addressed and suitable solutions implemented. In terms of medication, the administrators of the medicines should avoid destruction. Furthermore, vaccines should be administered via standing orders and vaccination rooms upgraded to suit the healthcare standards. Laboratory errors caused by delayed tests and unlabeled specimen should be addressed through redesign of the laboratory area by separating collection areas and testing area thus, improve the efficiency. The samples should also be labelled immediately are the results obtained promptly. There should not be any restrictions in offering appointments, and they should be offered upon request (Nuspiel 2011).

Further studies should be carried out improve and comprehend the root causes of medical errors. Healthcare institutions should also offer a platform for its staff to report medical error cases voluntarily without fear of their employment being terminated. Patients should also participate in reporting medical errors that occur through home administration and other medical mishaps. Creating an open platform for both the medical personnel and parents will enable designing of more secure health care systems.


Neuspiel. D.R. (2011). Improving Reporting of Outpatient Paediatric Medical Errors. Official Journal of The American Academy Of Paediatrics.



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