Adverse Drug Events in Hospitalized Children at Ethiopian University Hospital: A Prospective Observational Study

Journal Article
  • Tesfahun Chanie Eshetie
  • Bisrat Hailemeskel
  • Negussu Mekonnen
  • Getahun Paulos
  • Alemayehu Berhane Mekonnen
  • Tsinuel Girma
BMC Pediatrics
15: 83 (July 2015). DOI: 10.1186/s12887-015-0401-0

Background: The nature and magnitude of adverse drug events (ADEs) among hospitalized children in low-income countries is not well described. The aim of this study was thus, to assess the incidence and nature of ADEs in hospitalized children at a teaching hospital in Ethiopia.

Methods: We used a prospective observational method to study children hospitalized in Jimma University Specialized Hospital between 1 February and 1 May 2011. ADEs were identified using review of treatment charts, interview of patient and care-giver, attendance at ward rounds and/or meetings and voluntary staff reports. Two senior pediatric residents evaluated the severity and preventability of ADEs using preset criteria. Logistic regression analysis was employed to determine predictors of ADEs.

Results: There were 634 admissions with 6182 patient-days of hospital stay. There were 2072 written medication orders accounting for 35,117 medication doses. Fifty eight ADEs were identified with an incidence of 9.2 per 100 admissions, 1.7 per 1000 medication doses and 9.4 per 1000 patient-days. One-third of ADEs were preventable; 47 % of these were due to errors in the administration stage of medication use process. Regarding the severity of ADEs, 91% caused temporary harms and 9% resulted in permanent harm/death. Anti-infective drugs were the most common medications associated with ADEs. The occurrence of ADEs increased with age, length of hospital stay, and use of CNS, endocrine and antihistamine medicines.

Conclusion: ADEs are common in hospitalized children in low-income settings; however, one-third were deemed preventable. A strategy to prevent the occurrence and consequences of ADEs including education of nurses/physicians is of paramount importance.