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Study Finds Outpatient Medication Errors Prevalent Among Pediatric Leukemia, Lymphoma Patients

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An AHRQ-supported study published in the journal Cancer found that 10 percent of children with leukemia or lymphoma experienced adverse drug events due to outpatient medication errors.

In the study, conducted from 2016 to 2019, researchers monitored patients for six months using in-home observations and chart reviews. They found that failures in communication about changes in medication doses were common, and one in four caregivers reported administering double doses or missing doses due to miscommunication with another caregiver about whether the dose had already been given.

In addition, 21 percent of caregivers handled chemotherapy with bare hands during in-home observation, risking harm to themselves. These findings underscored a critical need for interventions to support safe medication use at home.

Researchers concluded that improvements addressing communication with and among caregivers should be co-developed with families and based on human-factors engineering.

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