TABLE 2

Characteristics of Route of Exposure and Type of Medication Error by Child Age, NPDS 2002–2012

CharacteristicsAge, yTotal
<112345<6a
Route of exposure
 Ingestion167 530138 558121 53896 43779 79664 9271529670 315 (96.2)
 Ocular22671942146710841014925628761 (1.3)
 Inhalation/nasal27371157974920867843227520 (1.1)
 Rectal502551495332210116102216 (0.3)
 Two or more routes41227536329729027561918 (0.3)
 Parenteral689326223165223217231866 (0.3)
 Otic334504344239208164211814 (0.3)
 Dermal545391286222163163111781 (0.3)
 Vaginal1825362523133143 (0.0)
 Aspiration (with ingestion)1476300030 (0.0)
 Other23575644933433502 (0.1)
 Unknown/Missingb1613119128271
Type of medication error
 Inadvertently took/given medication twice38 42638 65836 91229 41424 73219 837420188 399 (27.0)
 Confused units of measure16 01912 018996379876507479510057 389 (8.2)
 Wrong medication taken/given14 86211 01288317153633162089654 493 (7.8)
 Medication doses given/taken too close together12 74510 873807463005329424514447 710 (6.8)
 Inadvertently took/given someone else’s medication8830924994247298642262565547 534 (6.8)
 Dispensing cup error9074738362705112406730954635 047 (5.0)
 Other/unknown therapeutic error91356743597248683841314814933 856 (4.9)
 Incorrect formulation or concentration given9395756556004319329824977132 745 (4.7)
 Two or more errors8392556145323578313928498728 138 (4.0)
 More than 1 product containing same ingredient1328258629842565225318733313 622 (2.0)
 Incorrect dosing route311921321773128711198695510 354 (1.5)
 Health professional/iatrogenic error (pharmacist/nurse/physician)34981419970685676618517917 (1.1)
 Tenfold dosing error4940693454321287219196933 (1.0)
 Incorrect formulation or concentration dispensed195414121042782701527136431 (0.9)
 Drug interaction151233269226213182141288 (0.2)
 Exposure through breast milk827116231031261006 (0.1)
 Other incorrect dose32 59726 16422 70617 87413 91810 469313124 041 (17.8)
 Unknown/Missingb778336034
Total175 299143 824125 80799 78282 83967 694169269 6937
  • a <6 = Exact age unknown, but ≤5 y old.

  • b Not included in percentage calculations.