Avoiding Medical Mistakes With Children

Fact sheet offers tips on preventing errors

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MONDAY, Jan. 27, 2003 (HealthDayNews) -- A new effort to help prevent medical errors in children has been launched by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

The education campaign, aimed at pediatricians and parents, includes a fact sheet that offers 20 tips on how to prevent medical errors in children. The tip sheet provides evidence-based, practical tips on how to avoid medical errors related to prescription medicines, surgeries and hospital stays.

The fact sheet will be distributed to 57,000 pediatricians and to groups representing children and parents.

Studies have shown the rate for potential medication problems is three times higher for children than for adults. The rates for babies in hospitals are even higher.

Medicine-related medical errors can occur when a child is given the wrong medicine or is given the wrong dose of medicine for the child's weight.

The fact sheet tells doctors and parents to discuss medication dosages, potential side effects, and limits on food, drink or activities that might be necessary when a child is prescribed a particular medicine.

More information

You can get a copy of the tip sheet by calling 1-800-358-9295 or by sending an e-mail to ahrqpubs@ahrq.gov. Or you can find the fact sheet at the AHRQ Web site.

SOURCE: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, news release, January 2003


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