Medication dosing errors and associated factors in hospitalized pediatric patients from the South Area of the West Bank - Palestine

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Saudi Pharmaceutical Journal








Doses; Inpatient; Palestine; Pediatrics


© 2017 The Authors Background Medication dosing errors are a significant global concern and can cause serious medical consequences for patients. Pediatric patients are at increased risk of dosing errors due to differences in medication pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics. Objectives The aims of this study were to find the rate of medication dosing errors in hospitalized pediatric patients and possible associated factors. Method The study was an observational cohort study including pediatric inpatients less than 16 years from three governmental hospitals from the West Bank/Palestine during one month in 2014, and sample size was 400 pediatric inpatients from these three hospitals. Pediatric patients’ medical records were reviewed. Patients’ weight, age, medical conditions, all prescribed medications, their doses and frequency were documented. Then the doses of medications were evaluated. Result Among 400 patients, the medications prescribed were 949 medications, 213 of them (22.4%) were out of the recommended range, and 160 patients (40.0%) were prescribed one or more potentially inappropriate doses. The most common cause of hospital admission was sepsis which presented 14.3% of cases, followed by fever (13.5%) and meningitis (10.0%). The most commonly used medications were ampicillin in 194 cases (20.4%), ceftriaxone in 182 cases (19.2%), and cefotaxime in 144 cases (12.0%). No significant association was found between potentially inappropriate doses and gender or hospital (chi-square test p-value > 0.05).The results showed that patients with lower body weight, who had a higher number of medications and stayed in hospital for a longer time, were more likely to have inappropriate doses. Conclusion Potential medication dosing errors were high among pediatric hospitalized patients in Palestine. Younger patients, patients with lower body weight, who were prescribed higher number of medications and stayed in hospital for a longer time were more likely to have inappropriate doses, so these populations require special care. Many children were hospitalized for infectious causes and antibiotics were widely used. Strategies to reduce pediatric medication dosing errors are recommended.