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Bryan Slaughter
Bryan Slaughter
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New Study Finds Children Most at Risk for Surgical Medication Errors

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A new study has found that the most likely victims of surgery related medication errors are young children. Mistakes are most likely to happen when the patient is transfered from the surgical team to the recovery room.

The study was confined to errors made on patients undergoing surgery, and the rate of harm, 5 percent, was much higher than is typical for medication errors. Among children it was 12 percent.

Most of the errors involved painkillers and antibiotics. Four resulted in deaths, and one death was of a child.

The study was conducted by the United States Pharmacopeia (an organization which sets standards for the pharmaceutical industry), the University of Health Sciences in Bethesda, and two nurses organizations

A 1999 report by th Institute of Medicine, entitled “To Err Is Human,” estimated that preventable medical errors cause at least 44,000 and potentially as many as 98,000 deaths a year.