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What factors contribute to NICU errors?

On Behalf of | Dec 5, 2023 | Medical Malpractice

All newborns are inherently delicate. Unfortunately, some are extra fragile due to premature delivery and specific illnesses. A neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) is a specialized area in the hospital designed to provide the highest level of care and monitoring to these severely sick infants.

However, the complex responsibility to look after such vulnerable patients can quickly result in medical errors. Thus, knowing what often drives these mistakes can help medical providers and facilities prevent deadly risks.

Drivers of NICU errors

A study recognizes that babies are particularly prone to the slightest medical oversight due to their small size and defenselessness. After surveying NICU registered nurses and respiratory therapists, the research reveals that these medical errors are often rooted in the following factors:

  • Heavy workload: Lack of trained or skilled workforce tends to transfer the pressure of completing the job to those with adequate experience.
  • Provider burnout: Long hours may induce intense levels of stress and exhaustion that can impair normal functioning.
  • Missed communication: The flow of information may create misunderstandings or misinterpretations due to different individuals or teams involved.
  • Urgent patient situation: Some significant decisions require technical knowledge yet demand agile attention.

These elements may vary on a case-to-case basis. Sometimes, other parties could be at fault. A hospital’s culture may downplay mistakes, increasing the chances of repeatedly committing them. Further, a defective medical device can play a role in a misdiagnosis or an incorrect prescription dosage. When this happens, the manufacturer may be partially to blame.

Reasons to pursue a malpractice claim

A NICU mistake can end a newborn’s life before it even has the chance to begin. However, no parent would go down without a fight to protect their precious child.

Guidance from a legal team can help them file a malpractice claim for a fair payout to cover their bills and losses. Doing so can also provide a California family the closure they need after an obstacle threatens their baby’s life. Further, suppose affected parents decide to speak up. In that case, it may trigger policy changes that promote patient safety and improve the work standards of the medical staff providing neonatal care.