Hundreds of medication errors are made in children’s wards at one of the country’s leading hospitals. Pharmacists who spent 16 weeks in the four paediatric wards at Dr George Mukhari Academic Hospital in Ga-Rankuwa‚ Gauteng‚ detected 663 medication errors — an average of 2.9 per patient. The biggest category of errors involved incorrect dosing‚ followed by omission of medication and medicine being given at the wrong time. A total of 106 errors were made in the hospital’s 55-bed neonatal intensive care unit. In one in three patients‚ the error resulted in "some level of harm"‚ according to the pharmacists who conducted the research‚ reported in the South African Journal of Child Health. But none suffered permanent harm or died. Recommendations put forward by lead researcher Archele Truter‚ from the pharmacy department at Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University adjoining the hospital‚ include assigning a pharmacist to the paediatric wards‚ improving training for doctors and nurses‚...

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