Medication safety in children
Tijdschrift voor Kindergeneeskunde , Volume 82 - Issue 5 p. 166- 172
Many errors can occur in drug prescribing and administration in children. Doses vary widely with age and weight and therefore calculation errors occur easily. Software for prescription is not always adapted for children. The ‘kinderformularium’ (Dutch formulary for children) is an evidenced based source of knowledge for use of medication in children. Medication reconciliation, the process in which the clinician gets accurate information about the used medication, should be executed at admission, discharge and transfers. Insufficient information could easily lead to under- or overdosing and undesired interactions. The administration of intravenous medication is even more risky, because mistakes can be made in preparation, medication can be given to the wrong patient, and because of bacterial contamination. The use of dedicated pharmacy personnel for manufacturing can improve this. Besides the efforts to prevent mistakes, it remains important to realize that administration of medication to children carries many risks.