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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Medication errors in paediatric care: how they happen and how to reduce them.

Medication errors in paediatric care: how they happen and how to reduce them

A systematic review published in Quality and Safety in Health Care has evaluated peer reviewed knowledge on children’s medication errors and recommendations to improve paediatric medication safety.
The review included data from 31 articles that reported paediatric medication errors. According to the researchers, the distributional epidemiological estimates of the relative percentages of paediatric error types were: prescribing 3–37%, dispensing 5–58%, administering 72–75%, and documentation 17–21%.

The concluded that “Medication errors occur across the entire spectrum of prescribing, dispensing, and administering, and have a myriad of non-evidence based potential reduction strategies. Further research in this area needs a firmer standardisation for items such as dose ranges and definitions of medication errors, broader scope beyond inpatient prescribing errors, and prioritisation of implementation of medication error reduction strategies”.

Qual Safety Health Care 2007; 16: 116-26 (link to abstract)

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