Cough and Cold Medication Errors Decline among U.S. Children, Other Medications Remain Problematic

October 31, 2014 | Strategic Insights for Ambulatory Care


​Increased efforts are needed to prevent out-of-hospital medication errors among young children, especially those involving medications other than cough and cold preparations, conclude the authors of a study published online October 20, 2014, in Pediatrics. They used data from the National Poison Database System to conduct a retrospective analysis of out-of-hospital medication errors among U.S. children less than six years old that occurred between 2002 and 2012. During the study period, 696,937 children experienced out-of-hospital medication errors—an average of 63,358 episodes per year or one child every eight minutes. The rate of medication errors involving cough and cold medications decreased significantly during the 11 years; however, the number (42.9% increase) and rate (37.2% increase) of all other medication errors rose significantly.

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