Researchers have found that hospitalized children suffer medicine mix-ups, accidental overdoses, and bad drug reactions far more often than previously believed. They have found that one in 15 hospitalized children has been harmed by a drug-related event.
These statistics mean that approximately 540,000 children suffer adverse drug reactions while hospitalized every year. Patient safety experts believe that in reality this number is even higher, since the study only analyzed a select group of patients and did not include general community hospitals. The study found that over half of the adverse events were related to painkillers, including overdoses.
Public attention was recently focused on the quality of pediatric care after actor Dennis Quaid's newborn twins were administered a near-fatal dosage of heparin in a Los Angeles hospital. The study was released this week in the April issue of the journal Pediatrics.