Study: One of 15 hospitalized children harmed

A study using new methodology for detecting errors points up an alarming discrepancy between the level of potential harm children faced in hospitals, and what may actually be happening. The study, conducted by the National Initiative for Children's Healthcare Quality, concluded that medication errors and adverse drug reactions harm about one out of 15 hospitalized children. The study drew on randomly-selected charts for 960 children treated at 12 freestanding children's hospitals across the U.S. in 2002.

As part of the study, the group developed a new monitoring method which provides a list of 15 "triggers" on childrens' charts that might suggest drug-related harm, as well as specific antidotes for overdoses and side effects. The group did an in-depth review of any case where triggers were found. The group's researchers found 11 drug-related harmful events for every 100 hospitalized children, much higher than the estimated two per 100 estimated by prior methods.

To learn more about the study:
- read this Associated Press item

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