Brief summation: boy gets infection via a superficial seeming injury. Multiple medical professionals fail to catch it as it escalates, eventually killing the boy.
Reading this piece in the NYTimes is painful. As a parent, these stories rattle your paranoia. Parenthood seems to be that thing which shakes us from a “it can’t happen to me” attitude. Yet my parental paranoia wasn’t the only issue raised. I left wondering what could’ve been done differently, or, more specifically, how could technology help to prevent such tragedy.
One thing technology can do well is remove the “human” part on these sorts of errors. It’s easy to conceive of a medical data system that would compare the results with “acceptable limits”, or some sort of gradient. Then a simple script would flash/harangue, staff until acted upon.
Would such a thing have saved this boy? Hard to say. I don’t know if such a system existed and was operational at the time. But I like to think of solutions when faced with crisises. And like to think that there are technological solutions for a great many global ills. Perhaps that’s naiveté, or hubris. Yet, it’s there. If it’s a survival mechanism meant to mitigate the sadness or fear, it’s not very effective. It is something, no?