CME: A Look at Unsupervised Pediatric Drug Exposures

CME: A Look at Unsupervised Pediatric Drug Exposures

About a decade ago, several reports throughout the United States indicated that ED visits were on the rise for unsupervised pediatric medication exposures. “As a result of these studies, clinicians renewed their efforts to improve rates of these exposures,” explains Daniel S. Budnitz, MD, MPH. “Some of the steps were taken included improving safety packaging and increasing education to both healthcare providers and the general public about ways to avoid these exposures. By examining current trends in unsupervised pediatric medication exposures, it’s possible that this data could inform the development of targeted interventions to further reduce the risk of these events.”   Long-Term Trends For a study published in Pediatrics, Dr. Budnitz and colleagues examined data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System–Cooperative Adverse Drug Event Surveillance project to assess trends in ED visits for unsupervised medication exposures among children younger than the age of 6 from 2004 to 2013. The investigators also identified the dosage form and prescription status of implicated medications from 2010 through 2013. The authors found that approximately 640,000 children were seen in the ED for ingesting drugs between 2004 and 2013. About 70.0% of these children were aged 1 or 2, and nearly 20.0% of this group was hospitalized. The number of pediatric ED visits for unsupervised medication exposures increased by an average of 5.7% annually during the early 2000s and peaked at about 76,000 visits in 2010. After 2010, however, this trend reversed, with the number of ED visits decreasing by an average of 6.7% per year to approximately 59,000 visits in 2013. “While the decreasing trend is encouraging, this figure is still...
A Look at Unsupervised Pediatric Drug Exposures

A Look at Unsupervised Pediatric Drug Exposures

About a decade ago, several reports throughout the United States indicated that ED visits were on the rise for unsupervised pediatric medication exposures. “As a result of these studies, clinicians renewed their efforts to improve rates of these exposures,” explains Daniel S. Budnitz, MD, MPH. “Some of the steps were taken included improving safety packaging and increasing education to both healthcare providers and the general public about ways to avoid these exposures. By examining current trends in unsupervised pediatric medication exposures, it’s possible that this data could inform the development of targeted interventions to further reduce the risk of these events.”   Long-Term Trends For a study published in Pediatrics, Dr. Budnitz and colleagues examined data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System–Cooperative Adverse Drug Event Surveillance project to assess trends in ED visits for unsupervised medication exposures among children younger than the age of 6 from 2004 to 2013. The investigators also identified the dosage form and prescription status of implicated medications from 2010 through 2013. The authors found that approximately 640,000 children were seen in the ED for ingesting drugs between 2004 and 2013. About 70.0% of these children were aged 1 or 2, and nearly 20.0% of this group was hospitalized. The number of pediatric ED visits for unsupervised medication exposures increased by an average of 5.7% annually during the early 2000s and peaked at about 76,000 visits in 2010. After 2010, however, this trend reversed, with the number of ED visits decreasing by an average of 6.7% per year to approximately 59,000 visits in 2013. “While the decreasing trend is encouraging, this figure is still...