Challenge 3D Medication Errors

Pediatric Adverse Drug Events

The Patient Safety Movement already has a Medication Errors Actionable Patient Safety Solution (APSS) but it was determined that Pediatric and Neonatal Adverse Drug Events needs to be a separate focus. Adverse drug reactions (ADR) in children can have a significantly more severe effect when compared to adults. ADRs can lead to prolonged hospitalization, permanent disability or death. The error rates are highest in the neonatal intensive care unit. Children are usually less able to physiologically tolerate a medication error due to still developing renal, immune and hepatic functions. Children cannot communicate effectively to clinicians regarding any adverse effects that medication may be causing. Common errors include improper dosing, omission errors, unauthorized/wrong drug, prescribing errors, wrong administration technique, incorrect preparation, wrong dosage form, and wrong route. Additionally, many health care settings are primarily built around the needs of adults and lack trained staff oriented to pediatric care.

Between the 2017 World Patient Safety, Science & Technology Summit and the 2017 Midyear Planning Meeting a workgroup comprised of experts representing administrators, clinicians, technologists and patient advocates will meet to update this APSS. If you are interested in joining this workgroup, please email us.

Parent Challenge

  1. Challenge 3: Medication Errors