Drug Errors In Children Draw Alarm

Medscape reported on July 2, 2000 that errors in medication for children are creating a growing problem. The article states that the problem is due to the lack of information on the effects of many drugs on children. Most research is done with drugs on adults, little information is then known on the effects on children. The article states that improper dosage is the most common error that causes problems. They note that infants and children are not "little adults" and should not be treated as such. The article lists several facts demonstrating the "Big Problems". They are:

  • medication errors, excluding adverse reactions, are responsible for 14% of drug-related deaths
  • 5% of US hospital drug orders contain errors
  • 4 to 10% of US pharmacy-dispensed drugs involve some form of error; 0.6 to 1.5% of these are considered serious.
  • in France, 30% of pediatric calls to poison centers involve infants; the most common concern is an error of dose. Hospitalization is necessary in about 15% of cases.
  • Highlighting this problem is an article from Reuters News dated May 15, 2000 which headlines the fact that more children are being placed on a combination of medications such as Ritalin and Prozac. In this article Dr. Jerry Rushton of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, states, "I think the safety of these medications--in the young child especially--is not known, and when you take them in combination it is a whole new level of safety concern." The alarming numbers in this article show that by 1998, 10% of children aged 6 to 14 years were on Ritalin or stimulants, as were 1% of preschoolers aged 1 to 5 years.

    Chiropractic care has long suggested that a proper functioning nervous system, free from interference creates a healthier functioning child. Studies done such as the one at Mississippi State University, published in the October 12, 1989 issue of the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, showed that a non-drug approach can help children with hyperactivity. The researchers remarked, "the majority of the children in this study did, in fact, improve under specific chiropractic care."