Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Medical mistakes can have more serious consequences when they happen to children, according to an article in the Well blog of the New York Times. Various reasons are cited in the piece, and the article does include some important tips from experts for parents to lower the chance their child will be harmed by his or her treatment.

As we've noted on this blog before, things can and do happen even when the patient or family member is well informed. We'd just like to pass along this information as we think it may be useful as a basic guide.


  1. Thanks for this link. I experienced a diagnosis error that affected my life for many years as a child. In this piece, the author doesn't bring up the psychological effects of medical error. Like any medical experience or trauma, it has a more significant effect on a child and can affect intellectual, emotional and social as well as physical development. Though I have no lingering physical effects from my misdiagnosis that was corrected at the age of 12, but I'm still dealing with fallout from these other effects at the age of 32.

  2. Just a few more specific remarks on differences for kids.

    - I never had a time "before" my error, since my misdiagnosis happened as an infant. That and the resulting illness has always been there to shape my frame of reference. This has a powerful effect on your view of yourself and the world.

    - Since I was dealing with an illness throughout my childhood, I never really trusted my body and had confidence in it. My core identity included being a sick person. It took a lot of work to get over that, and was the cause of a lot of hypochondria :-).

    I'll actually be posting an entry in the next week these issues of body image and one way I've found to improve it.

  3. Thank you so much for sharing this, Beth. I don't think the way in which misdiagnosis/ error can impact the sense of identity, short or long-term, gets talked about enough.

    I really appreciate it.




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