Hospital mistakes endangering newborns

February 1, 2008 2:32:07 PM PST
A new report says mistakes and other incidents in hospitals, ranging from administrative errors to drug overdoses, are frequently endangering newborns and are often preventable.The study in the Journal Lancet tracked about 400 babies in southern France. They identified 24 cases involving drugs - 19 of them were medication errors.

The biggest risk factors for newborns were low birth weight, length of hospital stay, having an intravenous line or breathing tube or being on a mechanical ventilator.

Experts say the findings are important because they shed light on a high risk group. It also underscores the need for hospitals to minimize unintended risks to newborns.