Comparative Cross-Sectional Pharmacovigilance Study of Medication Errors in Children and Adults in Community-Based Hospitals

➣ Original Article

➣ Asp J Pediatrics Child Health. 2020 Jan 29;2(1):1-12

Jimenez A1,2, Tran TM3, Le B4, Le J4*

1Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center, Torrance, CA

2Miller Children’s and Women’s Hospital, Long Beach, CA

3University of California Riverside, School of Medicine, Riverside, CA

2University of California San Diego, Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, La Jolla, CA

Corresponding Author: Jennifer Le, PharmD, MAS, FCCP, BCPS-ID

Address: Professor of Clinical Pharmacy, University of California San Diego, Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, 9500 Gilman Drive, MC 0657, La Jolla, CA, 92093-0657; Phone: (858) 534-3692; Fax: (858) 822-6857; Email: jenle@ucsd.edu

Received date: 12 January 2020; Accepted date: 23 January 2020; Published date: 29 January 2020

Abstract

Objective: To compare medication errors that reached pediatric and adult patients during hospitalization.

Methods: Observational, non-experimental, cross-sectional study from January 2011 to March 2015 at two community-based, teaching hospitals.

Results: Over a 4-year period, there were 4.2 and 13.3 million doses dispensed in pediatrics and adults, respectively. Less than 0.25% of doses dispensed contributed to medication errors, with 9.6% of these medication errors reaching patients and 0.04% causing harm. There was no statistical difference in medication error rates based on doses dispensed, patient-days, admission rate, and severity. However, significantly more errors in the documentation and prescribing processes occurred in adults (21.9% vs 6.5% and 37.4% vs 29.8% respectively, p<.001) versus administration in pediatrics (42.5 vs 29.8% in adults, p <0.001). Errors in drug administration that occurred in pediatrics consisted of infusion devices, incorrect dose, the omission of medication, and time of administration. Pediatrics had higher medication errors related to electrolytes and total parenteral nutrition. Independent of age, there were more medication errors that caused harm in patients residing in the intensive care unit (5.5% of 769 vs 3.5% of 2800 patients, respectively, p =0.006).

Conclusion: While the prevalence of medication errors that reached patients and caused harm were similar between adults and pediatrics, the types of errors within the medication use process, class of drugs, and severity of the mediation errors varied between the groups. Given these differences, it is quintessential to develop population-specific medication safety programs aimed at addressing the needs of pediatric patients to enhance safe medication use.

Citation: Jimenez A, Tran TM, Le B, Le J. Comparative Cross-Sectional Pharmacovigilance Study of Medication Errors in Children and Adults in Community-Based Hospitals. Asp J Pediatrics Child Health. 2020 Jan 29;2(1):1-12.

Copyright © 2020 Jimenez A, Tran TM, Le B, Le J. This is an open-access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium provided the original work is properly cited.

Keywords: Medication Errors; Pediatrics; Healthcare

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