Drug-related problems found in children attending an emergency department in Saudi Arabia and in the United Kingdom

Int J Clin Pharm. 2013 Jun;35(3):327-31. doi: 10.1007/s11096-013-9758-z. Epub 2013 Apr 3.


Background: No published studies investigating drug-related problems (DRPs) in children visiting emergency department (ED) in either the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) or the United Kingdom (UK) were identified.

Objective: To determine the frequency and characteristics of DRPs in paediatric patients attending ED in the KSA and the UK.

Method: An observational study. DRPs were identified by a researcher, reviewing the medical records of children attending the ED during a three-month period in KSA and a 1 month period in UK; severity and preventability of the DRPs were assessed. Incidence of DRPs overall and in each country was calculated.

Results: A total of 253 patients (KSA n = 143, UK n = 110) were included. Fifty-five patients (22%; 55/253), experienced 69 DRPs. 2% (5/253) of the patients attended the ED due to DRPs. Overall incidence was 21.7% (95% CI, 16.8-27.3). 78% (54/69) of the DRPs were assessed as preventable; 33% (23/69) as of moderate severity.

Conclusion: DRPs were common in paediatric patients attending EDs; the majority were preventable. Further study is needed to investigate the impact of mild and moderate DRPs on paediatric patients' health and also to improve the care provided to minimise the occurrence of preventable DRPs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions / epidemiology*
  • Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions / prevention & control
  • Emergency Service, Hospital / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies
  • Saudi Arabia / epidemiology
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • United Kingdom / epidemiology