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PSNet: Patient Safety Network
Journal Article
Study

Alterations in Spanish language interpretation during pediatric critical care family meetings.

Sinow CS, Corso I, Lorenzo J, et al. Critical care medicine. 2017;45:1915-1921.

Patients with limited English proficiency may be at higher risk for adverse events, including medication errors. Use of professional medical interpreters has been shown to improve the quality of care provided to patients with limited English proficiency. In this observational study at a single children's hospital, researchers analyzed the transcripts of nine family meetings and found that Spanish medical interpreters frequently altered the original speech of providers and family members. The authors suggest that when using medical interpreters, providers should pause frequently, allowing for translation of shorter statements to improve accuracy of translation.