Medication errors in children

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Research Study

Medication Errors in Children


“Medication errors and adverse drug events in paediatric in-patients.”
In this six week study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association 2001 carried out at the Children’s Hospital Boston and the Massachusetts General Hospital for Children, researchers found 616 medication errors out of 10,778 orders written, an error rate of 5.7 percent.

This means that one out of every 17 times a medication is ordered to be given to a hospitalised child the child receives the wrong drug or dose.

The overall error rate was similar to those found in previous studies of adult hospitals, but the number of potentially harmful errors was three times greater among children.

In addition to this the rate of potential adverse drug events was significantly higher in neonates in the neonatal intensive care unit.

Kausha R, Bates DW, Landrigan C, McKenna KJ, Clapp MD, Federico F, Goldmann DA JAMA 2001 (Apr 25);   285 (16):   2114-2120

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