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Home Wellness Research Prescription Cautions Children At Higher Risk For Drug Errors

Children At Higher Risk For Drug Errors

Monday, 03 November 2008 16:42
A whopping one out of every 17 times a medication is ordered to be given to a hospitalized child the child receives the wrong drug or dose according to a new study in JAMA. Potentially harmful medication errors occur 3 times more often among hospitalized children than adults. In the 6-week study at Children's Hospital Boston and Massachusetts General Hospital for Children, researchers found 616 medication errors out of 10,778 orders written -- an error rate of 5.7 percent. The overall error rate was similar to those found in previous studies of adult hospitals, but the number of potentially harmful errors was 3 times greater among children. The rate of potential adverse drug events was significantly higher in neonates in the neonatal intensive care unit. Most potential adverse drug events occurred at the stage of drug ordering (79%) and involved incorrect dosing (34%), anti-infective drugs (28%), and intravenous medications (54%). "Medication errors are common in pediatric inpatient settings, and further efforts are

Kausha R, Bates DW, Landrigan C, McKenna KJ, Clapp MD, Federico F, Goldmann DA   Medication errors and adverse drug events in pediatric inpatients   JAMA 2001 (Apr 25);   285 (16):   2114-2120