The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on April 25, 2001 · Page 8
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 8

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Salina, Kansas
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Wednesday, April 25, 2001
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Page 8
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A8 WEDNESDAY, APRIL 25, 2001 HEALTH THE SALINA JOURNAL T PEDIATRICS Drug errors are common study urges greater scrutiny of orders in pediatric wards By The Associated Press CHICAGO — Potentially harmful medication errors occur three times more often among hospitalized children than adults, according to a new study. Many mistakes — including prescribing medication at incorrect dosages or drugs that could cause allergic reactions — could be prevented by requiring physicians to enter orders into a computer and clinical pharmacists to be more involved in pediatric wards, researchers said. "The high risk of medication errors highlights the importance of developing, testing and implementing effective error-prevention strategies in pediatrics," the study's authors wrote in today's Journal of the American Medical Association. • MEDICAL RESEARCH In the six-week study at Children's Hospital Boston and Massachusetts General Hospital for Children, researchers found 616 medication errors out of 10,778 orders written — an error rate of 5.7 percent. Of those, 26 were considered adverse drug events, meaning they harmed the child. In 115 cases, the mistakes were caught before the medication was administered or the error did not cause a bad reaction; of those, physician reviewers said 18 were potentially fatal or life-threatening. The remaining mistakes were errors that weren't considered potentially harmful, such as ordering antibiotics without specifying how the drug should be administered, said lead author Rainu Kaushal, a physician at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. The overall error rate was similar to those found in previous studies of adult hospitals, but the number of potentially harmful errors was three times greater among children. Kaushal said it was not surprising errors were greater among children, especially those in neonatal intensive care units. "There is a lot of weight-based dosing in pediatrics, and pharmacists often have to dilute (medication) or chop pills," she said. "There is also the breadth of ages (among children), children cannot communicate quite as weU if there is a side effect" and smaU and critically ill children cannot withstand errors as well as older children and adults. Most of the errors were made when the doctors ordered the medication, rather than because of dispensing errors, researchers said. Two years ago, a blistering report by the Institute of Medicine called attention to medical mistakes in hospitals. It said errors kill up to 98,000 hospitalized Americans a year and demanded major changes. 25% OFF ENTIRE STOCK UNDERWEAR FROM A POPULAR AMERICAN DESIGNER Boxers • Briefs Tanks • Crews Orig. 9.00-39.50, NOW $6.75-$29.63 Sex matters when studying men, women By The Associated Press WASHINGTON — Men and women are different and, when it comes to medical research, that's important. That's the word Tuesday from a panel of scientists convened by the Institute of Medicine to review medical research programs. Their conclusion: "Sex matters." "Sex ... is an important basic human variable that should be considered when designing and analyzing studies in all areas and at all levels of medical and health-related research," the committee wrote. Historically, medical researchers have assumed that, other than their reproductive systems, men and women basically reacted the same way to drugs. That has drawn criticism from women's groups, who contend research has focused on men and too little attention has been paid to the differing reactions and needs of women. In its report, "Exploring the Biological Contributions to Human Health: Does Sex Matter?" the panel noted that the sexual differences extend to the cellular level. Men and women differ in their patterns of illness and life spans, the report observed, they are ex­ posed to disease differently, have different methods for energy storage, have different metabolisms and respond differently to drugs. In addition to urging more research into how the sexes respond to disease and drugs, the report calls on clinical researchers to design their programs to take these differences into consideration. Audiology Evaluations PROFESSIONAL HEARING AID CENTER PAT PUTZIER Owner, Audiologist 1103-A W. Crawford / Salina 827-3849 /1-800-536-3849 Sale ends May 13 For Your Convenience We Accept Your Dillard's, Visa, MasterCand, American Express, Discover, Corie Blanche, Or Diner's Club Card. SHOP TODAY 10 A.M. - 9 P.M. GREAT SAVINGS ON SCREEN TEES Choose From Nike, Adidas, And One & JNCO For Your Convenience We Accept Your Dillard's, Visa, AAasterCard, American Express, Discover, Carte Blanche, Or Diner's Club Card.. SHOP TODAY 10 A.M. - 9 P.M.

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