Children in Intensive Care May be at Greater Risk of Infection than Adults

Patients in pediatric intensive care units (pediatric ICUs) are at greater risk of developing a dangerous infection than patients in adult intensive care units (adult ICUs) according to a new study conducted by Consumer Reports. The study found that pediatric ICUs had a 20% higher rate of dangerous infections than adult ICUs.

As a parent there are steps that you can take to help protect your child from dangerous infections. Specifically, you can:

  • Talk to the pediatric ICU staff about the steps they take to control infection.
  • Make sure everyone who comes near your child, and especially near your child’s central line, is scrubbed and uses sterile equipment.
  • Ask if the central line is still necessary for your child’s care and ask that it be removed as soon as it is safe to do so.
  • Keep your own hands clean and insist on the same from all visitors.
  • Speak up if you think something is wrong.

Remember, that while these steps may help protect your child, it is the hospital’s responsibility to prevent infections. If the hospital has failed to use reasonable care in the treatment of your child, including protecting your child from dangerous infections, then your family may have the right to recover damages for the injuries suffered by your child due to the hospital medical malpractice.