Navigation Links
Drug Mix-Ups Harm Hospitalized Kids
Date:4/7/2008

The numbers are higher than previous estimates, new study says

MONDAY, April 7 (HealthDay News) -- Adverse "drug events" -- including getting the wrong drugs, accidental overdoses and unfavorable reactions -- affect about 7 percent of U.S. children in hospitals, a new study says.

That figure is much higher than previous estimates. And it underscores growing concerns about medical errors involving hospitalized children -- an issue that generated headlines in November when actor Dennis Quaid's newborn twins were accidentally given life-threatening overdoses of a blood thinner.

"This gives us some valuable insight into the frequency of medication-related harm," said study lead author Dr. Paul Sharek, medical director of quality management at Stanford University's Lucile Packard Children's Hospital.

"The number is larger purely because of the way we collected the information before. But most of those who work in children's hospitals realize that because of the complexity of children's health care in the United States harm occurs," Sharek said.

The findings are published in the April issue of Pediatrics.

For the study, the researchers reviewed the charts of 960 randomly selected children from 12 children's hospitals around the United States. The new method of detecting medical errors was a list of 15 "triggers" that a patient's charts might indicate possible drug-related problems. The triggers included the use of antidotes for drug overdoses, suspicious side effects and lab tests.

The researchers found adverse drug events for 11.1 of every 100 hospitalized children. Earlier estimates, using standard measures, had placed adverse drug events at two for every 100 patients. Of these adverse drug reactions, 22 percent were preventable, 17.8 percent could have been identified earlier, and 16.8 percent could have been handled more effectively, the study found.

Fortunately, most of the adverse drug events -- 97 percent -- caused only minor, temporary harm. However, only 3.7 percent of these events were found in traditional hospital reports, according to the new study.

Most adverse events were rashes and nausea. The drugs that were most commonly misused were pain medications and antibiotics. Most common mistakes included not monitoring patients, prescribing the wrong medicine, or wrong doses, the researchers said.

The number of adverse drug events involving children is about the same as it is for adults, Sharek said.

Sharek said steps are being taken to help reduce the number of medication errors involving children. These include electronic medical records and bar coding, he said.

One of the 15 triggers is the use of vitamin K, which is an antidote for the blood-thinner Coumadin. Quaid's twins were given an accidental overdose of heparin in a Los Angeles hospital, shortly after they were born.

The twins recovered, and Quaid and his wife, Kimberly, have formed a foundation to help prevent medical errors. Quaid told the Associated Press that the twins "appear to be normal kids, very happy and healthy."

Quaid credited the new study with increasing awareness about the problem of pediatric medical errors. He said that, until the near death of his twins, he never thought he'd play a role as a public health advocate. He called the experience "the most frightening time," of his life, the AP said.

His message for parents: "Every time a caregiver comes into the room, I would check and ask the nurse what they're giving them and why," Quaid told the AP.

More information

For more on adverse drug reactions, visit the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.



SOURCES: Paul Sharek, M.D., medical director, quality management, Stanford University Lucile Packard Children's Hospital, Stanford, Calif.; April 7, 2008, Associated Press, April 2008, Pediatrics


'/>"/>
Copyright©2008 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Chicago Bears Players Visit Hospitalized Veterans
2. Antivirals reduce deaths from flu in hospitalized patients
3. Rapid Response Teams Can Save Hospitalized Kids
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Drug Mix-Ups Harm Hospitalized Kids
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... Information about the technology: , ... to enable prevention of a major side effect of chemotherapy in children. Cisplatin ... patients. For cisplatin, hearing loss is FDA listed on-label as a dose limiting ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... 2017 , ... HMP , a leader in healthcare events and education, today ... Digital Award for ‘Best B-to-B Healthcare Website.’ Winners were announced during the Eddie & ... award competition recognizes editorial and design excellence across a range of sectors. This year’s ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... On Saturday, October 21, the Health & Wellness ... Moonlight to raise money for the American Heart Association Heart Walk. Teams of up ... work together to keep their treadmills moving for 5 hours. Treadmills will start at ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... Health Literacy Innovations (HLI), creator ... tool, and the Cancer Patient Education Network (CPEN), an independent professional organization that ... new strategic alliance. , As CPEN’s strategic partner, HLI will help support ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... Vohra Chief Medical ... to physician colleagues, skilled nursing facility medical directors and other clinicians at various ... Wound Care." , "At many of these conferences we get to educate other ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2017)... Divoti USA will engrave and process all non-coated ... latest FDA requirements, which stipulates new criteria regarding medical device manufacture ... Medical ID jewelry such as Medical ID Bracelets, can rest assured ... of the new FDA requirements . ... Divoti offers this dark mark fiber laser engraving process ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... -- Caris Life Sciences ® , a leading innovator in ... medicine, today announced that St. Jude Medical Center,s Crosson ... as its 17 th member. Through participation with ... Institute will help develop standards of care and best ... cancer treatment more precise and effective. ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... , Oct. 10, 2017  NDS received FDA 510(k) clearance ... a medical-grade battery-powered display stand specifically designed for endoscopy environments. An ... technology into a clinical solution to support the improvement of patient ... Innovative Design ... Wireless Solution ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: