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Father Channels His Grief into Advocacy, Promotes Simple Actions to Make Hospitals Safer for Children
Date:2/12/2010

GAINESVILLE, Fla., Feb. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- A father who lost his young son to a series of medical errors said other children's lives can be saved if hospitals embrace a culture of listening to parents and making patient safety everyone's responsibility.

Horst Ferrero, whose 3-year-old son, Sebastian, died in 2007 after being administered a fatal dose of medication as part of a routine medical test, spoke to Florida's children's hospital administrators in Gainesville at the Florida Association of Children's Hospital's (FACH) Dinner on Wednesday.  Horst and Luisa Ferrero, founders of the Sebastian Ferrero Foundation, are leading the effort to build a dedicated, full-service children's hospital in Gainesville.

In an emotional retelling of his story, Ferrero described what he called a "cascade of errors."  If any member of the medical team had responded differently at any of a number of points along the way, his son's life might have been saved.

Among the changes Ferrero urged hospitals to embrace are these:

Listen to parents.  They know their children best and are speaking on their behalf.  They should be treated with compassion and courtesy and encouraged to serve as their children's primary medical advocates.

Institute checks and balances.  Build a culture that makes safety everyone's responsibility.  Don't allow for systems where people can assume that others have checked.  Double-checking can
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SOURCE Sebastian Ferrero Foundation
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