Pediatrics: A unique and volatile risk

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Pediatric risk is both unique and volatile. Children are more vulnerable when treated in any healthcare environment, but especially in the acute care setting. Children with chronic healthcare conditions are more challenging to treat and more susceptible to medical errors. Despite marked improvement in the national medical malpractice environment, the most volatile claims involve severely injured patients under age eighteen and especially those patients in the first year of life.This article provides the context of pediatric care in reviewing the demographics of children and the healthcare delivery system. The unique factors of pediatric care that create increased risk are also reviewed. Low frequency/high severity claims involving children are discussed in detail as well as physician claims in the specialty of general pediatrics. Risk management solutions for pediatric issues are proposed.

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