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Pediatrics. 2012 Oct;130(4):e786-93. doi: 10.1542/peds.2011-2555. Epub 2012 Sep 10.

Medical errors in US pediatric inpatients with chronic conditions.

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The Ohio State University College of Medicine, Columbus, Ohio, USA.



To investigate the association between chronic conditions and iatrogenic medical errors in US pediatric inpatients.


The 2006 Kids' Inpatient Database (KID) was analyzed. Medical errors were defined by using International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-9-CM) codes. Medical error rates per 100 hospital discharges and per 1000 inpatient days were calculated. Logistic regression models were fitted to study the association between number of chronic conditions and medical errors, controlling for patient characteristics, hospital characteristics, disease severity, and length of stay.


In the 2006 KID, 22.3% of pediatric inpatients had 1 chronic condition, 9.8% had 2 chronic conditions, and 12.0% had ≥ 3 chronic conditions. The overall medical error rate per 100 discharges was 3.0 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 2.8-3.3); it was 5.3 (95% CI: 4.9-5.7) in children with chronic conditions and 1.3 (95% CI: 1.2-1.3) in children without chronic conditions. The medical error rate per 1000 inpatient days was also higher in children with chronic conditions. The association between chronic conditions and medical errors remained statistically significant in logistic regression models adjusting for patient characteristics, hospital characteristics, disease severity, and length of stay. In the adjusted model, the odds ratio of medical errors for children with 1 chronic condition was 1.40 (95% CI: 1.32-1.48); for children with 2 conditions, the OR was 1.55 (95% CI: 1.45-1.66); and for children with 3 conditions, the OR was 1.66 (95% CI: 1.53-1.81).


The number of chronic conditions was significantly associated with iatrogenic medical errors in pediatric inpatients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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