New Study Finds that Child Medication Errors Occur Every Eight Minutes

In a newly released study by Pediatrics, it is reported that there are an astronomical amount of child medication errors that are occurring outside the hospital setting. According to one article that summarized the report, there are almost 64,000 medication errors annually in the United States involving children under the age of six. Twenty-five percent of these errors occur in infants under the age of one.

The report explains that each year, there are about 200,000 medication errors that occur outside of hospitals, and about 30% of these errors involve children under six. This comes to one medication error every eight minutes. Of course, the study can only deal with reported medication errors. The actual number of errors is expected to be much higher, since only a fraction of errors are reported.

Liquid medications are by far the biggest culprit when it comes to medication errors, resulting in a whopping 89% of all errors. As far as what was causing the error, the breakdown is as follows:

  • 17.9% of all errors were due to the wrong dose;
  • 27% of errors involved the proper dose but gave it too often;
  • 8.2% of the errors involved a mix-up regarding units of measurement; and
  • 7.8% of the errors involved providing the wrong medication entirely.

According to the study, younger children are at a higher risk of experiencing a medication error. While researchers are not positive why this is, they believe that it has to do with the older children’s ability to communicate with their parents, potentially alerting them to something being wrong with their dose or the way it makes them feel.

Also interesting is the fact that most of the errors occurred in the winter. This is because more children suffer from respiratory illness in the winter, and liquid medication is the standard for these kinds of ailments.

The report explains that the vast majority of these errors are non-fatal, with 25 child deaths resulting each year from medication errors. However, approximately 6% of all errors require hospitalization of some kind.

Medication Errors in Maryland

Maryland pharmacists have a duty to prescribe medication accurately, no matter what the age of the patient. When a pharmacist makes a critical error resulting in harm to his or her patient, he or she may be held liable for his or her negligence. To learn more, contact a dedicated pharmacy error attorney.

Have You Been Injured By a Pharmacist’s Mistake?

If you or your child has recently been injured by the mistake of a pharmacist, you may be entitled to monetary compensation to help you cover your resulting medical expenses, as well as to compensate you for any pain and suffering you have endured. To find out more about the laws that allow Maryland plaintiffs to recover for pharmacy errors, contact one of the dedicated attorneys at the personal injury law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen Personal Injury Lawyers. Call 410-654-3600 today to set up a free consultation with an experienced attorney.

More Blog Posts:

New Zealand Man Dies Due to Pharmacist’s Error, Pharmacy Error Injury Lawyer Blog, September 3, 2014.

Pharmacist Overprescribes Blood-Thinner, Causing Man to Cough Up Blood, Pharmacy Error Injury Lawyer Blog, October 9, 2014.

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