Navigation Links
Wrong dose of heart meds too frequent in children
Date:7/7/2009

Infants and young children treated with heart drugs get the wrong dose or end up on the wrong end of medication errors more often than older children, according to research led by the Johns Hopkins Children's Center to be published July 6 in Pediatrics.

While the researchers found the highest number of errors among infants under the age of 1, they say children of all ages are vulnerable to such mistakes because health-care providers can manually miscalculate weight-sensitive doses and can misinterpret safe age ranges of adult drugs used off-label in children.

"We found that cardiac medication errors happen in children, and they can happen every step of the way, from prescribing to delivering the medication, but dosing and administration errors were ominously common," says lead investigator Marlene Miller, M.D., M.Sc., vice chair for quality and patient safety at Hopkins Children's.

The researchers emphasize that the vast majority of errors analyzed in their study 96 percent were benign and caused no detectable harm to patients or never reached the patients, but in 4 percent (31) of the cases there was harm, although no deaths.

The report and the warnings were drawn from a study analyzing 821 medication errors submitted to a national voluntary error-reporting database. As Miller noted, errors occurred every step of the multiple-step process of calculating dosages, prescribing, dispensing and giving drugs, with the most common causes of dosing errors attributed to misinterpretation of the patient's weight, mathematical errors of computation, misinterpretation of orders, giving extra doses or missing doses. In one instance, the patient's weight in pounds was mistaken for weight in kilograms, resulting in a gross overdose of three different heart drugs, which sent the patient into cardiac arrest.

Half of the errors occurred in children younger than 1 year, and 90 percent involved children under the age of 6 months. Newborns and infants with congenital heart disease which occurs in four out of 1,000 U.S. babies are at high risk for such errors since heart medications are most commonly prescribed for them, researchers say. The other half of dosing errors occurred in patients between the ages of 1 year and 6 years.

The investigators say certain medication errors in children can be reduced or prevented by computerizing drug orders with built-in double- and triple-checking mechanisms that reduce the likelihood for miscalculation or misinterpretation, something Hopkins Children's is already doing. In 2006, Hopkins researchers demonstrated that Web-based ordering systems make it less likely to order and give a child a wrong dose. However, because computerized orders can prevent only certain types of errors, it is critical to find new ways and design new systems that reduce other types of errors as well, such as dispensing and administration errors, while at the same time recognizing the human factor.

"While it is essential to examine or modify system fail-safes, given the human factor in patient care, we also stress vigilance among hospital staff in all aspects of medication administration, from weight assessment to medication delivery," says lead investigator Diana Alexander, M.D., who conducted the study while at Hopkins and is now at St. Luke Regional Medical Center in Boise, Idaho.

Most of the harmful errors involved diuretics, used to treat heart failure and lower blood pressure by ridding the body of excess water, and antihypertensive (blood-pressure lowering) drugs, both of which are now widely used in infants with congenital heart disease and increasingly in older children and teens with high blood pressure.


'/>"/>

Contact: Ekaterina Pesheva
epeshev1@jhmi.edu
410-516-4996
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Expert Explains Why Propofol Was the Wrong -- and Possibly Fatal -- Drug for Michael Jackson
2. Teens are heading in wrong direction: Likely to have sex, but not use contraception
3. Wrong type of help from parents could worsen childs OCD
4. Could standard treatment for traumatic brain injury be wrong?
5. Stem Cell Biotherapy Sues Casey Nabavi, Co-Founder and Former President, for Conduct Resulting in Claims by SCB Patients Against Nabavi, Embezzling Money and Converting Other Assets Belonging to SCB and for Wrongfully Establishing Cellulogix Biosciences t
6. The Pope is Wrong on Condoms
7. $12 Million New Jersey Medical Malpractice Verdict for Wrongful Death of a 21-Year-Old Man After Having Wisdom Teeth Removed
8. RNC: Wrong Prescription
9. FactCheck.org Gets It Wrong on Stimulus Package
10. Family Planning Provision Wrongfully Removed From Economic Stimulus Package
11. Free antibiotics: The wrong prescription for cold and flu season
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/25/2016)... Canada (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... Conventional ... pursuit of success. In terms of the latter, setting the bar too high can ... risk more than just slow progress toward their goal. , Research from ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... crisis. Her son James, eight, was out of control. Prone to extreme mood shifts and ... him, he couldn’t control his emotions,” remembers Marcy. “If there was a knife on ... say he was going to kill them. If we were driving on the freeway, ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , ... June 24, 2016 , ... Comfort Keepers® of ... Cancer Society and the Road To Recovery® program to drive cancer patients to and ... other adults to ensure the highest quality of life and ongoing independence. Getting ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... The Haute Beauty ... Barry M. Weintraub as a prominent plastic surgeon and the network’s newest partner. ... and the most handsome men, look naturally attractive. Plastic surgery should be invisible.” ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Venture Construction Group (VCG) ... held on June 20th at the Woodmont Country Club at 1201 Rockville Pike, Rockville, ... dedicated to helping service members that have been wounded in battle and their families. ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/26/2016)... , June 27, 2016  VMS Rehab Systems, Inc. ... will take whatever measures required to build a strong ... which is currently listed on the OTC Markets-pink current ... Chairman and CEO, "We are seeing an anomaly in ... understand, not only by the Company, but shareholders and ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... June 24, 2016  Consumers have taken a ... have placed more emphasis on patient outcomes. ... programs in the pharmaceutical industry have evolved beyond ... pharmaceutical companies are focusing on becoming more patient-oriented ... products and services that improve health. ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016  Global Blood ... biopharmaceutical company developing novel therapeutics for the treatment ... today announced the closing of its previously announced ... stock, at the public offering price of $18.75 ... offering were offered by GBT. GBT estimates net ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: