According to a 2009 study that was conducted by Boston’s Children’s Hospital and that was published in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, more than 500,000 children are treated for medication errors, complications, and side effects. This study shows us the seriousness of pediatric medical complications and it is clear that these complications are more serious than we previously believed. The study showed that 13 kids out of every 1,000 experienced complications. Another fact to note is that about 45% of the children who suffered from medical errors were under 4 years old.

According to National Center for Health Statistic’s statistics gathered between 1995 and 2005, 585,922 children under 18 visited hospitals following adverse drug effects. A worrying 22% of these visits were to emergency rooms.  

The 2009 study was published in “Pediatrics”. From the report, it is clear that most of the complications can be traced back to allergic reactions and are gastrointestinal or skin-related. According to Dr. Florence Bourgeoise, the leader of the study, it is the responsibility of doctors to be vigilant when administering medication, particularly so to minors. It is also the responsibility of all doctors to familiarize themselves with medications and their side effects and to disclose the possibility of complications to parents and guardians.

Doctors have to be careful because they risk being sued. Although doctors have malpractice insurance coverage, being sued means increased premiums and a tarnished name. Hospitals, too, could get sued for negligence.

If your child has been a victim, you should sue because this will discourage doctors and hospitals from being negligent when it comes to the administration of medication. According to a 2006 report in the Institute of Medicine, medication mistakes resulted in an expenditure of $3.5 billion in medical expenses. This is not inclusive of loss of wage and productivity and other healthcare expenses. This is a big loss to the economy. Without malpractice lawsuits, doctors and hospitals will act with impunity.

Suing is important because you will be compensated for loss of wages (when taking the child to the hospital), medical expenses, and punitive damage for the pain and suffering. Money is effective in healing wounds. Suing will give you peace of mind since you will know the party responsible is held accountable.

The drugs that are mostly related to complications and side effects in children are corticosteroids for the treatment of asthma and ulcerative colitis, pain relievers, cancer drugs, and blood thinners.