Furr & Henshaw
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Study demonstrates parents can spot mistakes missed by doctors

As a parent, you are likely very sensitive to your child's health. However, if your child is experiencing symptoms that may require treatment, a visit to the doctor is typically in order. You have every reason to trust that the physician who examines your child will be able to give you an accurate diagnosis. But when it comes to assessing your child, you may be more qualified to spot problems than you think.

A study conducted in a pair of pediatrics units at a Boston hospital revealed that around one in ten parents were able to catch mistakes that physicians missed. The study involved reviewing data on 383 children who were in the hospital in 2013 and 2014.

Parents filled out written surveys that recounted safety incidents experienced by their children while they were hospitalized. According to the data, 34 parents described 37 safety incidents. Of the incidents reported, doctors found that 23 were medical mistakes. And 30 percent of those mistakes were found to have caused harm and could have been prevented.

While the sample in this study was admittedly small, it does seem to support the idea that parents have a place in the diagnostic process and should speak up if they feel that something is wrong when their children receive care.

So mothers and fathers sometimes really do know best when it comes to their child's treatment, quite possibly because they may notice things that are overlooked by healthcare providers. But it is the responsibility of doctors to accurately diagnose their patients and prescribe proper treatment. And a doctor's error could result in a child receiving improper treatment.

If your child or any member of your family has suffered an injury due to a doctor's mistake, it is important that the matter is addressed. An experienced medical malpractice attorney could act on your behalf to pursue compensation and hold the responsible party accountable.

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