Pediatric Medication Concentration Standards With Retail Pharmacy

Pediatric Medication Concentration Standards With Retail Pharmacy

Error in dosing concentration resulted in a patient being readmitted to the PICU for head imaging and observation.
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Resultant harm to the patient

A patient required readmission to the PICU for head imaging and observation.

Actions to mitigate risk at your hospital

  • Create and use Enoxaparin prophylaxis and treatment order sets
  • Implement prescriber education and communication
  • Implement an alerting system (Pharmacy, Case Management, Quality, IT) that includes:
    • Dose range checking
    • Review capability for all injectable medications
    • Evaluation of missing concentrations
  • Use a standardized concentration for Enoxaparin on all doses 100 mg or less
  • Implement the use of whole numbers and rounding guidelines when ordering
  • Standardize the type of prefilled syringes if possible
    • Consider standardization for Enoxaparin doses under 40 mg with certain designated syringe (except for 30 mg dosages)
  • Engage Case Management and Home Health stakeholders in the review of orders prior to dispensing of custom compounded high-risk medications
    • Standardize syringes used with non-prefilled doses
  • Adopt other best practices for standardization and initiate state-wide collaborative initiatives for adoption

Target audiences

  • Quality, Patient Safety, Legal, Risk Management, Cause Analysis Staff, Organizational Leaders, Pharmacy Leaders, Home Care, Case Management

Fundamental issue

There was a deviation and systems failure leading to 10x dispensing error at home that reached the patient. A prescription was written as: Enoxaparin 0.6 ml (6mg) subcutaneous Q12 hours (inpatient standard concentration was 10mg/ml). It was dispensed as standard adult concentration of Enoxaparin (100mg/ml) to give 0.6ml subcutaneous Q12 hours, which equates to 60mg. This was a high-risk medication requiring a standardized process without similarly complex or standardized ordering, teaching or dispensing systems. There was a lack of communication and collaboration between inpatient and retail pharmacy.

For additional resources, contributors and sources, download the PDF

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About the PSO

The Child Health Patient Safety Organization enables children’s hospitals to share safety event information and experiences to accelerate the elimination of preventable harm.