Medical Errors More Common in Pediatric Trauma Patients With Chronic Conditions

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Pediatric trauma patients with chronic conditions experience more medical errors than pediatric trauma patients without chronic conditions, according to a study published in SAGE Open Medicine.

Researchers analyzed 123,303 trauma discharges in the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality-sponsored Kids' Inpatient Database and found the rate of medical errors for patients with chronic conditions was 4.04 per 100 discharges compared to 1.07 per 100 discharges for patients without chronic conditions.

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Additionally, certain chronic conditions experienced more medical errors than others. Chronic conditions labeled as "Other," conditions relating to factors influencing health status and contact with health services, had the highest rate of medical errors at 11.45 per 100 discharges. Diseases of the blood and blood-forming organs had the next highest rate (10.88 per 100 discharges), followed by diseases of the circulatory system (9.91 per 100 discharges) and endocrine, nutritional, and metabolic diseases and immunity disorders (9.37 per 100 discharges).

Rates of medical errors for patients with chronic conditions also increased as the number of comorbid chronic conditions increased. The presence of one chronic condition increased the odds of a medical error by 37 percent. That rate went up to 69 percent when more than one chronic condition was present.

Researchers suggest future studies should focus on transparency, care integration and medical error prevention for pediatric trauma patients with chronic conditions.

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