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Med J Aust. 1998 Oct 5;169(7):356-9.

The incidence of drug-related problems as a cause of hospital admissions in children.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacy Practice, Monash University, Parkville, Vic.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To determine the incidence of hospital admissions for drug-related problems (DRPs) among children, and to examine cases for causality, preventability and clinical severity.

DESIGN:

Prospective assessment involving review of case notes and parent interview to determine if an admission was associated with a DRP.

PATIENTS AND SETTING:

All patients admitted to a large university-affiliated paediatric hospital in Melbourne, Victoria, for medical reasons (i.e., not surgical, trauma or oncology patients) during 56 consecutive days from 24 June to 19 August 1996 for which a DRP could be identified. Patients whose parents or guardians could not communicate adequately in English were excluded.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

The incidence, type, causality, preventability and clinical severity of DRPs associated with admission.

RESULTS:

Of 1682 eligible patients admitted to the Royal Children's Hospital during the study period, 58 admissions (3.4%) were associated with DRPs. Non-compliance was implicated in 50%. Causality was ranked as "definite" (34.5%), "possible" (56.9%) and "doubtful" (8.6). Two-thirds of admissions associated with DRPs were deemed preventable. Although no patients died from DRPs, four were admitted to the intensive care unit.

CONCLUSIONS:

The incidence of DRPs as a cause of hospital admission in this study falls within the range of incidences published for the Australian adult population (range, 2.4%-22%). In contrast to findings among Australian adults, a high proportion of admissions for DRPs in this study were associated with non-compliance. The high percentage of preventable admissions indicates that further study is necessary to characterise risk factors within this population and to test prevention strategies.

PMID:
9803246
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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