Cardiac Medication Dosing Errors Reported Most Commonly With Infants

As Maryland Medication Mistake Attorneys, we have been following a recent article from Cardiology Today, revealing that cardiac medication mistakes are reported most commonly with infants—in community hospitals, university hospitals, and pharmacies.

The results of a study showed that diuretics and antihypertensive agents are the most commonly reported drugs that are improperly dosed with infants—frequently prescribed by doctors for pediatric patients with heart disease. According to the article, these drugs have the potential for more widespread use because of neonatal care advances, and the increasing incidence of metabolic syndrome and childhood obesity.

Diuretics and antihypertensive agents are considered by many to be safe, because of their frequent use by doctors, but according to the research, it would be much more beneficial for the physicians, clinicians and pharmacists to have accurate information on the assessments of harm rates, and the groups of infant patients who are at particular risk—to prevent serious medical mistake errors and injury with children.

The most harmful error reports came from reported dosing error of the heart condition drugs: nesiritide, calcium channel blockers, milrinone, digozin, and antiarrhythmic agents.

According to the results from voluntary CV medication error reports that were submitted to a medication error database from the years 2003 and 2004, 50% of the total errors reported occurred in children younger than 1 year of age, and 90% of the error reports occurred in infants younger than 6 months of age.

In the 1,424 causes reported, the most frequent causes of medication error or pharmacy misfills were:

• Human error
• Improper dosing
• Missed or double doses
• Misunderstanding of drug orders
• Mathematical errors which include dilutional errors

The severity analysis of the report showed 5% of the infant medical errors were “near misses,” 91% of the medication errors were without harm, and 4% were harmful errors with no fatalities.

The most reported locations of the improper dosing that affected the infants but were not harmful were found in:

• Inpatient pharmacies
• Neonatal intensive care units
• Pediatric units
• General Care units

In the findings, community hospitals caused the highest number of error reports—out of the 616 facilities, 147 of the community hospitals reported a total of 821 CV medical mistake errors that involved children. University hospitals caused 71% of the error reports and medical facilities caused 18%. The report also detailed that pharmacies who dispensed the most doses submitted the most pharmacy error and misfill reports.

At Lebowitz and Mzhen LLC, our Maryland Medication Mistake Attorneys are experienced in defending medication error victims and their loved ones in the Washington D.C. area or in the state of Maryland. Contact us today at 1-800-654-1949 to schedule your free consultation, and receive the personal injury compensation you deserve.

Dosing Errors for Cardiac Medication Most Commonly Reported in Infants, Cardiology Today, October 1, 2009

Related Web Resources:

Institute for Safe Medication Practices, (ISMP)

MedWatch: The FDA Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program

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