US Pharm. 2011;36(10):8.Cincinnati, OH—According to a new Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center study, the number of young children seen in emergency departments or admitted to hospitals because they unintentionally took a potentially toxic dose of medication has risen dramatically in recent years. Researchers reviewed records of 453,559 children in the National Poison Data System from 2001 to 2008 and found that exposure to prescription drugs accounted for the majority of emergency room visits (55%), admissions (76%), and significant harm (71%). Ingestion levels of opioids, sedatives-hypnotics, and cardiovascular medications were particularly high. In response to this alarming trend, the CDC has established the PROTECT Initiative, whose mission is to prevent unintended medication overdoses in children.
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