Adverse Drug Reactions Causing Admission to a Paediatric Hospital


Objective(s): To obtain reliable information about the incidence of adverse drug reactions, and identify potential areas where intervention may reduce the burden of ill-health. Design: Prospective observational study. Setting: A large tertiary children’s hospital providing general and specialty care in the UK. Participants: All acute paediatric admissions over a one year period. Main Exposure: Any medication taken in the two weeks prior to admission. Outcome Measures: Occurrence of adverse drug reaction. Results: 240/8345 admissions in 178/6821 patients admitted acutely to a paediatric hospital were thought to be related to an adverse drug reaction, giving an estimated incidence of 2.9 % (95 % CI 2.5, 3.3), with the reaction directly causing, or contributing to the cause, of admission in 97.1 % of cases. No deaths were attributable to an adverse drug reaction. 22.1% (95 % CI 17%, 28%) of the reactions were either definitely or possibly avoidable. Prescriptions originating in the community accounted for 44/249 (17.7%) of adverse drug reactions, the remainder originating from hospital. 120/249 (48.2%) reactions resulted from treatment for malignancies. The drugs most commonly implicated in causing admissions were cytotoxic agents, corticosteroids, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, vaccines and immunosuppressants. The most commo

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