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Medical Diagnoses Commonly Associated With Pediatric Malpractice Lawsuits in the United States Gary ... - page 6 / 7





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  • 7.

    Avoid language that blames (eg, unintentionally, inadvertently) or embellishes (eg, profound, exces- sive) unless it is relevant to medical care.

  • 8.

    Correctly label conditions such as DDH as “develop- mental” rather than “congenital” so that it does not lead a parent to believe that the condition should have been diagnosed soon after birth.

  • 9.

    Medications should be written as mg/kg per time period. Ask about drug allergies every time a pre- scription is written.

  • 10.

    Similar to the 3 rules of real estate (location, loca- tion, location), the 3 rules of medical malpractice are damages, damages, damages. Careful and extensive documentation is critical with patients likely to sus- tain long-term sequelae.

  • 11.

    The Institute of Medicine has noted that half of Americans, even among the well educated, do not understand basic health information.24 Further- more, many Americans lack good reading skills. Verbal instructions should be simple, clear, and con- cise. Written material provided to patients should be written at an eighth-grade level.


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    Doctors for Medical Liability Reform. Protect Patients Now! action center. Available at: www.protectpatientsnow.org/site/

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      8oIDJLNnHIE/b.1090567/k.C061/StateInformation.htm. Accessed September 30, 2008

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    American Academy of Pediatrics. AAP Periodic Survey of Fellows, #69. Elk Grove Village, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics; 2008

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    Kain ZN, Caldwell-Andrews AA. What pediatricians should know about child-related malpractice payments in the United States. Pediatrics. 2006;118(2):464–468

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    Carroll AE, Buddenbaum JL. Malpractice claims involving pediatricians: epidemiology and etiology [published correction appears in Pediatrics. 2007;120(4):935]. Pediatrics. 2007;120(1): 10 –17

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    Pierce EC. Looking back on the anesthesia critical incident studies and their role in catalyzing patient safety. Qual Saf Health Care. 2002;11(3):282–283

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    Physicians Insurers Association of America. Data-Sharing Project: 19852006. Rockville, MD

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    Physicians Insurers Association of America. Meningitis Claims Study 2000. Rockville, MD

  • 8.

    Rodriguez DP, Vargas S, Callahan MJ, Zurakowski D, Taylor GA. Appendicitis in young children: imaging experience and clinical outcomes. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2006;186(4): 1158 –1164

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    Becker T, Kharbanda A, Bachur R. Atypical clinical features of pediatric appendicitis. Acad Emerg Med. 2007;14(2):124–129

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    Reynolds SL. Missed appendicitis in a pediatric emergency department. Pediatr Emerg Care. 1993;9(1):1–3

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    Rothrock SG, Pagane J. Acute appendicitis in children: emer- gency department diagnosis and management. Ann Emerg Med. 2000;36(1):39 –51

  • 12.

    Sallin K, Rothrock SG. Diagnosis of acute appendicitis: increas- ing accuracy, improving outcome, and decreasing liability. J Fla Med Assoc. 1997;84(9):543–548

  • 13.

    American Academy of Pediatrics, Committee on Quality Im- provement, Subcommittee on Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip. Clinical practice guidelines: early detection of DDH. Pedi- atrics. 2000;105(4 pt 1):896–905

  • 14.

    Mahan ST, Kasser JR. Does swaddling influence developmen- tal dysplasia of the hip? Pediatrics. 2008;121(1):177–178

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    Schwend RM, Schoenecker P, Richards BS, Flynn JM, Vitale M; Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America. Screening the newborn for DDH: now what do we do? J Pediatr Orthop. 2007;27(6):607– 610

  • 16.

    Laska L. Med Malpract Verdicts Settl Experts. 2006;22:3. Available at: www.verdictslaska.com. Accessed October 2, 2008

  • 17.

    Jackson County (Missouri) Circuit Court, Case 00CV204766


  • 18.

    St Clair County (Illinois) Circuit Court, Case 00L-373 (2006)

  • 19.

    Hickson GB, Clayton EW, Githens PB, Sloan FA. Factors that prompted families to file medical malpractice claims following perinatal injuries. JAMA. 1992;267(10):1359–1363

  • 20.

    McAbee G, Atluru V, Carrachio T. Phenytoin (Dilantin) pre- scribing practices among Long Island, NY pediatricians. Pediat- rics. 1991;87:266–267

  • 21.

    Pediatric Patient Safety. In: Berger JE, Deitschel CH, eds. Med- ical Liability for Pediatricians. 6th ed. Elk Grove Village, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics; 2004:213

  • 22.

    Holdsworth MT, Fichtl RE, Raisch DW, et al. Impact of com- puterized prescriber order entry on the incidence of adverse drug events in pediatric inpatients. Pediatrics. 2007;120(5): 1058 –1065

  • 23.

    Selbst SM, Friedman MJ, Singh SB. Epidemiology and etiology of malpractice lawsuits involving children in US emergency departments and urgent care centers. Pediatr Emerg Care. 2005; 21(3):165–169

  • 24.

    Institute of Medicine, Committee on Health Literacy. Health Literacy: A Prescription to End Confusion. Washington, DC: Na- tional Academies Press; 2004


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