Communication failures may lead to preventable medical mistakes

Communication failures may lead to preventable medical mistakes

Many times, it may be hard to pinpoint a child’s ailment.  Children may lack the verbal skills to describe what hurts, or the type of pain they’re experiencing – i.e. is the pain dull? sharp? throbbing? Young children may not know how to accurately describe how something hurts - just that it does. As such, it is crucial that doctors, nurses, and other care givers take special care to communicate with children in order to properly diagnose and treat children.  When communication errors occur, children may suffer harm due to preventable medical harm.

In fact, a recent study found that misdiagnoses/the failure to diagnose errors constitute the largest percentage of claims of medical malpractice.  The diagnostic errors result often from poor communication – between doctors and other health care professionals – and between the doctor/patient and/or his or her parents.  Proper communication is often the first step in both diagnosing a health concern, assuring that it is properly treated, and following up to ensure treatment is working.

By highlighting failures in communication, and working to address this concern, patient safety should improve.

If you believe that you or a loved one has been harmed by a diagnostic error, it is important to seek skilled legal counsel as soon as possible.  For more information, or for a confidential consultation, please contact our dedicated San Diego medical malpractice lawyers at Bostwick & Peterson, LLP for an immediate consultation.

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