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Small patients, big consequences in medical errors

New York Times, September 15, 2008
An Institute of Medicine report nearly a decade ago highlighted the prevalence of medical errors, and they remain a major problem. Because they are physically small, and their kidneys, liver and immune system are still developing, Medical errors pose a greater threat to children than to adults. Even a tiny increase in the dose of medication can have serious effects, and if children take a turn for the worse, they can deteriorate more rapidly than adults. Children also are less able to communicate what they are feeling, making it difficult to diagnose their problem or know when a symptom or complication develops.