Having a child in the pediatric intensive care unit is a frightening experience for parents. The focus of your efforts when this happens is likely going to be keeping your child safe. While you might trust the medical care team that’s in charge of your child’s case, it’s imperative that you take steps to make sure that your child gets the best care possible.
There are many aspects of medical care that you might not be familiar with in the PICU, so be sure you ask questions and understand what’s going on with your child. The more information you have, the better you can watch what’s happening and know if there’s anything amiss.
You are your child’s advocate
Most children won’t speak up for themselves. Some won’t know when to and others are simply too shy. As a parent, you must be your child’s advocate when they’re in the hospital. Even though some people just take what the medical team says at face value, you should make sure that everyone who cares for your child is doing what’s best for your kid.
Another thing to remember is that you have to be willing to question what’s going on. Keep notes if you can. This enables you to compare what one person is telling you with what another told you. For example, if a hospitalist comes in and tells you a plan for your child and then an intensivist comes in with one that contradicts the hospitalist’s plan, you can ask the intensivist which plan is the best one for your child.
Take action if your child is harmed
While most parents hope their child’s PICU stay will end without any harmful incidents, medical malpractice can occur in the PICU. If you notice that any medical team member is being negligent in their care of your child and your kid suffers harm, be sure to take swift action. This may include filing grievances with the hospital, as well as contacting an attorney. Filing a medical malpractice claim may reduce the financial strain this situation places on your family.