Medication errors in hospitals are alarmingly common – and it appears babies and small children are the ones in greatest danger.

A new medical study from Canada finds that young patients are at risk of serious mistakes in prescribing and administering drugs.

In fact, the study found that drug errors are the most frequent medical mishaps affecting children in hospitals.

The reasons: distractions, poor communication, and the heavy workload of nurses.

People in Florida who are injured or killed as a result of a medical mistake – such as a drug error – may have the right to file a Florida medical malpractice lawsuit.

Reuters news states that when Kingston’s nursing professor Kim Sears and her colleagues anonymously surveyed the nurses at hospitals affiliated with universities across the country for three months, they found four pediatric deaths resulting from medication errors.

A total of 372 errors were reported, comprising of 245 errors and 127 other instances where an error was caught prior to the drug being administered. Such errors included giving children the wrong dosage, the wrong medication at the wrong time, or an incorrect drug.

In the January issue of Pediatric Nursing, the study’s authors concluded that pediatric medication administration errors occur frequently, and are devastating to both the children and their families.

While drugs that are adult-approved are often used for children below the age of 12, these drugs aren’t formulated for pediatric use.

According to previous research, the delivery of a single medication can involve up to 40 steps, with room for error at each and every step.

To reduce the chances of medication errors, the researchers recommended the following:

  • Increased training for future pediatric nurses
  • Increased communication between doctors, nurses and pharmacists
  • Standardized medication delivery and error reporting

Every year, up to 250,000 people in America are injured and as many as 100,000 die as a result of medical negligence.


CBC News