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At-Home Drug Errors Common for Kids With Cancer

Study author says parents need more support, better awareness

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To gauge the scope of medical errors, Walsh's team visited the homes of 92 children with cancer and watched 242 medications being given. In addition, the team reviewed 963 prescriptions for the correct drug and dose.

In all, they found 72 medication errors, four of which were harmful to the child and 40 more that could have been harmful.

Two errors were classified as life-threatening, 13 as serious and 25 as significant errors. Most of the errors were for non-chemotherapy drugs, the researchers noted.

Another expert, Dr. Maggie Eidson, a pediatric oncologist at Miami Children's Hospital, said that "the fact that there are errors isn't surprising. It reminds us we need to give parents good tools to keep their dosing regimens clear and help parents to manage things at home better."

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