The Joint Commission on Friday issued safety recommendations to hospitals to prevent drug errors or adverse reactions in children, the AP/Houston Chronicle reports. A study released on Monday found that about one in every 15 hospitalized children, or about 540,000 annually, is harmed by a drug mistake or adverse reaction to an overdose.
The recommendations ask hospitals to weigh pediatric patients in kilograms when admitted. Kilograms typically are used to calculate proper medication doses for children.
According to Matthew Scanlon, a physician at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin who helped write the recommendations, some hospitals continue to measure weight in pounds, which raises the risk of improper dosage. The recommendations also ask hospitals to clearly indicate adult medications that have been repackaged to suit pediatric patients, store medications for adults away from pediatric care units and refrain from using the same automatic dispensing machines or drug cabinets for adult and children's medicines.
Scanlon said, "This is [the] strongest statement on record to date that children have unique safety needs".
Source: Kaiser Family Foundation