A new study published in this month’s Pediatrics magazine
suggests that our children may be at much more of a risk of hospital
errors than we ever could have imagined. The study claims that more
than one out of every ten children admitted to the hospital will have
an adverse reaction to a drug administered to them. More alarmingly the
study claims that more than 20 percent of these reactions are
preventable. These starling numbers paint a picture of a much more
dangerous hospital stay for children than previously thought.
The Joint Commission, which accredits hospitals, issued an alert yesterday in response to the findings, noting that kids have a higher risk than adults of being harmed by medication errors.
Commission recommended several efforts that can be made to reduce the
number of drug errors in children. The Commission advised that children
be weighed in kilograms, the most common unit used when determining
dosage amounts. Writing down the method used to calculate the dosage
should also reduce mistakes, by offering a written record that could be
double-checked by others.
Recent nationwide coverage of a nearly fatal medical error involving
the children of actor Dennis Quaid has increased awareness of the
issue, but still not enough is being done to ensure the safety of our