Navigation Links
Guidelines Seek to Reduce Medication Errors Involving Kids
Date:4/11/2008

A key recommendation is measuring a child's weight in kilograms

FRIDAY, April 11 (HealthDay News) -- The group that accredits most U.S. hospitals issued guidelines Friday to help prevent medication errors in hospitalized children.

Among the recommendations: Children should be weighed in kilograms -- the global standard and the standard for medication dosing -- when they are admitted to a hospital.

"The vast majority of countries utilize the metric system, and the recommendations for pediatric medication use are based on the metric system," said Dr. Peter Angood, vice president and chief patient safety officer for The Joint Commission, which announced the "Sentinel Event Alert" at a teleconference.

"Sadly, there seems to be a lack of widespread appreciation even among health-care providers that children have unique safety and medication needs," said Dr. Matthew Scanlon, assistant professor of pediatrics-critical care at the Medical College of Wisconsin and a member of the Joint Commission's Sentinel Event Advisory Group. "The issues of having to adapt products -- be it technology or medications -- that were created for adults and apply those to pediatric patients is terribly problematic and really is the source of a great deal of work that has to be performed on a daily basis among pediatric health-care providers."

Added Catherine Tom-Revzon, clinical pharmacy manager at Children's Hospital at Montefiore in New York City: "This is definitely increasing the public awareness that at least something's being done to address the medication errors that occur in children."

The alert follows publication this week of a study that found that medication errors, including accidental overdoses and adverse reactions, affect about one of 15 -- or 7 percent -- of hospitalized children. The study was published in the April issue of the journal Pediatrics.

That 7 percent 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.

What's to blame for the problem? According to Angood, most medications are made and packaged for adults, and most health-care facilities are built and organized around the needs of adults, not children. Also, process issues -- including miscommunication, lack of standards for labeling and packaging, and the misidentification of medications -- are at fault, he said.

Even recent innovations in technology often don't help the pediatric population. A system for computer order entry of medications implemented by Scanlon's hospital did not have weight-based dosing. "Pediatric providers were left to cobble together weight-based dosing," he said.

Similarly, bar coding of medications is sometimes not readable for children because of the range of size.

"Technology holds great promise," Scanlon said. "Unfortunately, today, that hasn't been realized and lack of explicit attention to the needs of children certainly has not helped that matter."

Perhaps the simplest solution proposed by the commission is for hospitals and health-care providers to weigh children in kilograms to arrive at the proper dosing.

"This should become the standard of recording pediatric patient weights," Angood said.

The commission is also suggesting that caregivers who prescribe medications to children be required to write out and document how they arrived at particular doses. "In other words, show the math," Angood said. "This means nurses or doctors can easily double-check the calculations of any medications administered."

The family and, if possible, the child should also be involved in the medication management process, and should be asked to repeat back any medication-related instructions, according to the guidelines.

"What's really important from the patient's or parents' perspective is not only know the child's weight [in kilograms] but also maintain a current list of a child's medications -- whether they be prescription, over-the-counter or both," Tom-Revzon said. "Also, as part of that list, it should include any allergies to medication or foods, so that even if the child doesn't end up going to the hospital, even if they go to the emergency [room] or to a different doctor, that list will help prevent potential drug interactions and duplications."

Angood added: "We can and we're obligated to do better. We really do owe it to those patients who depend on us."

More information

To learn more about the new recommendations, visit The Joint Commission.



SOURCES: Catherine Tom-Revzon, PharmD., clinical pharmacy manager, pediatrics, Children's Hospital at Montefiore, New York City; April 11, 2008, teleconference with Peter Angood, M.D., vice president and chief patient safety officer, The Joint Commission, Oakbrook Terrace, Ill., Matthew Scanlon, M.D., assistant professor of pediatrics-critical care, Medical College of Wisconsin and member, Joint Commission's Sentinel Event Advisory Group


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

Related medicine news :

1. FDA Updates Prescription Guidelines for Blood Thinner
2. New Asthma Guidelines Stress Disease Control
3. Study finds primary care depression treatment often does not follow quality guidelines
4. New lung cancer guidelines oppose general CT screening
5. New Lung Cancer Guidelines Oppose General CT Screening
6. OSHA Issues Draft Ergonomics Guidelines on Preventing Musculoskeletal Injuries in Shipyards
7. Long-awaited international ethical guidelines for biobank researchers
8. Experts Publish New Lung Disease Guidelines
9. Heart Failure Society of America 11th Annual Scientific Meeting to Focus on Heart Failure Guidelines, Innovation and New Research
10. New guidelines set to improve standard of cows milk allergy care
11. GlycoMark Blood Test Included in Global Diabetes Care Guidelines as Emerging Technology
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Guidelines Seek to Reduce Medication Errors Involving Kids
(Date:5/27/2016)... ... May 27, 2016 , ... In response to ... who are unaware of the plight of aphasia. In collaboration with the American ... Awareness” campaign. , The link between stroke and aphasia is relatively unknown, but ...
(Date:5/27/2016)... NY (PRWEB) , ... May 27, 2016 , ... Aimed ... inspiring human interest stories, which come courtesy of leaders in the nursing and health ... industry, from leading advocates and associations—namely Abilene Christian University. , As the nursing ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... ... Despite last week’s media reports hinting at a June rate hike after ... 2017 for an interest rate increase, according to Rajeev Dhawan of the Economic Forecasting ... Open Market Committee (FOMC) dot charts are of interest to the press for their ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... , ... May 26, 2016 , ... ... discovery of thousands of defective respirators, according to court documents and SEC filings. ... of William and Becky Tyler v. American Optical Corporation, Case No. BC588866, Los ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... May 26, 2016 , ... Connor Sports, through its Connor ... for the Tamika Catchings Legacy Tour that will commemorate the Indiana Fever ... basketball surfaces in all forms and levels of the game, Connor Sports has committed ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/25/2016)... , May 25, 2016  Zymo Research Corp. ... their new reference materials that help researchers obtain ... collection to analyses. The rapid growth of the ... researchers to have standard methods to improve the ... Biases inherently exist at every step of the ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... 2016 Digital Health Dialog, LLC dba ... the US Patent and Trademark Office of U.S. ... processes for electronic opt-­in and processing of discount ... HIPAA compliance and otherwise. Logo - ... "Our technology allows for individuals to opt­-in ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... AMSTERDAM , May 24, 2016 ... aplicación médica para ayudar a los médicos a compartir ... los pacientes a escala mundial. Profesionales médicos de Europa, ... ya se han apuntado a la aplicación, que combina ... en un entorno totalmente seguro. Educación   ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: