Sentinel Event Alert Paper: Preventing Pediatric Medication Errors

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Sentinel Event Alert Paper: Preventing Pediatric Medication Errors Introduction The Joint Commission Sentinel Event Alert, Issue 39, 2008, pertains to pediatric medication errors and the risk mitigation strategies. This paper summarizes the content of the sentinel alert and its relation to the actual practical experience in the care of patients.


Hence reducing medication errors in the pediatric segment of the population is the challenge posed to healthcare service providers, particularly when medication errors among pediatric patients are preventable (The Joint Commission, 2008). Evaluation of why children are more prone to medication errors shows that there are several reasons. Several of the medications used in the treatment of children have been actually formulated and packed for adult use, and hence dilutions in concentrations are essential to make them suitable for use on children. For instance, conversion of adult based dosage medications to child dosages requires good mathematical calculation skills. The health care settings are based on adult care needs, and therefore deficient in training and skills required in the care of children. Organic functions like renal functions, hepatic functions, and immune functions are still in the development stage for children, which make them less physiologically tolerant to higher dosages of medications through medication errors. ...
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