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Table 2 Characteristics of MEs in the pediatric critical care services according to the updated classification by the Ruíz-Jarabo 2000 working group

From: A study of medication errors during the prescription stage in the pediatric critical care services of a secondary-tertiary level public hospital

Variables Hospital pediatric critical care services  
PEC PICU NICU NIMCU Total
n %
Total potential medication errors, n (%) 358 (50.1) 643 (63.5) 141 (42.5) 110 (38.3) 1252 53.3
Total clinically relevant medication errorsb, n 139 190 31 19 379 30.3
Clinically relevant Prescription Error Rateb % 19.4 18.8 9.3 6.6 16.1
Clinically relevant ME/patient Index 1.6 2.9 0.5 0.2
Types of Medication Errorsa, n (%)       
-Wrong speed rate of administrationb 45 102 31 14 192 15.3
-Abbreviations 258 432 85 83 858 68.5
Clinically relevantb 65 42 0 5 112 13.1
Not clinically relevant 193 390 85 78 746 86.9
-Spelling error 26 63 25 13 127 10.1
-Misinterpretation/mistaken drug unitsb 29 46 0 0 75 6.0
Patients with ideal medication orders, n (%) 6 (6.8) 0 (0.0) 12 (17.6) 26 (32.9) 44 14.6
Prescriptions with ideal drugs, n (%) 17 (2.4) 146 (14.4) 45 (13.5) 66 (23.0) 274 11.7
  1. ME Medication Error, NICU Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, NIMCU Neonatal Intermediate Special Care Unit, PEC Pediatric Emergency Care, PICU Pediatric Intensive Care Unit
  2. aAccording to the Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) Spain (12); b The clinically relevant abbreviations were KCL (Potassium Chloride) and PHT (Phenytoin)