Background Adverse drug reactions (ADRs) in children are a significant cause of hospitalisation. A systematic review published in 2013 estimates this incidence in the range from 0.16–4.3%.
Purpose The main objective was to describe the incidence of ADRs leading to admission in a paediatric hospital. Secondary objectives were to determine the drug classes causing ADRs, duration of hospitalisation and to compare the incidence obtained with the current literature.
Material and methods A retrospective study of all ADRs codes in the medical records of paediatric patients. ADRs were coded by a medical archivist for an 11-year period in a database.
Results A total of 73,864 hospitalizations of children were evaluated. We detected 520 ADRs resulting in hospital admission. We calculated on average 47.4 ADRs coded per year for an annual average incidence of 0.7%. ADRs coded occurred amongst 0–5 year-olds and 12–17 year-olds in 53.7% and 18.2%, respectively. 49.3% were females. Mean hospitalisation time due to ADRs was 6.3 days.
The organ systems most commonly involved were the haematopoietic system (63.4%), central nervous system (10.6%), digestive system (8.8%) and skin (6.1%). The classes of drugs most frequently involved were antineoplastic drugs (65.0%), drugs active on the central nervous system (8.6%) and anti-infective agents (5.8%).
Conclusion The incidence of ADRs as a cause of hospital admission in this study (0.7%) falls within the range of incidences in the current literature. The organ system most commonly involved is the haematopoietic system and the class of drug most frequently involved is antineoplastic drugs. Drug surveillance studies are necessary to characterise risk factors within this population and to test prevention strategies to effectively promote the safer use of drugs in children.
Zed PJ, Haughn C, Black KJ, et al. Medication-related emergency department visits and hospital admissions in pediatric patients: a qualitative systematic review. J Pediatr 2013;163:477–83
Gallagher RM, Mason JR, Bird KA, et al. Adverse drug reactions causing admission to a paediatric hospital. PLoS One 2012;7(12):e50127
ReferencesNo conflict of interest.
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