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Weighing in kgs in emergency rooms can reduce hospital errors

Emergency departments in Illinois and around the country deal with countless traumas each day. Life-or-death situations are common, and decisions regarding care and treatment must be made quickly. While many visits to an emergency room are handled effectively, hospital errors can still occur. Health care experts suggest that many of these errors could be avoided by requiring a simple procedure in the emergency departments.

The recommendation by many medical professionals is to weigh everyone who comes to an emergency department for treatment in kilograms. Reports show that more than 40 percent of errors made involving medication can be attributed to dosing mistakes. Such mistakes can prove extremely dangerous for patients, particularly children. If a weight is recorded incorrectly in an emergency room, that data typically remains in a medical chart throughout the hospital stay.

The American Academy of Pediatrics and the Emergency Nurses Association endorse the practice of weighing everyone in kilograms. It is recommended that, though a variety of scale types may be utilized, all scales should be configured to kilograms only. For pediatric patients, records should also include information from standard growth charts to warn personnel if a dosing error is suspected. Weight in kilograms should also be required on all medical records and prescription information.

Even with standardized practices and medical information, hospital errors can still occur. Mistakes made by medical personnel can lead to serious injury or even death. If family members have experienced a loss or complications from hospital negligence, they may decide to file a wrongful death or personal injury lawsuit. An Illinois personal injury attorney can work with families to obtain a favorable award that could help cover hospital costs or funeral expenses.

Source: aappublications.org, "To reduce errors, ED staff should weigh patients in kilograms", Alyson Sulaski Wyckoff, Aug. 29, 2017

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