Imagine you are a parent. You come home from work around dinner time and find that your child is ill. After checking with the pediatrician, you are advised to go to the emergency department (ED).

After an evaluation, a medication regimen is prescribed. It now is 11 p.m., and your pharmacy is closed, but the ED directs you to a 24-hour pharmacy only 10 minutes away by car. After finding the pharmacy, you park the car, tend to your child and obtain the medications in about 20 minutes.

Many parents ask if they can pick up medications in the ED pharmacy, but this practice is not the norm.

A new AAP technical report, Dispensing Medications at the Hospital upon Discharge to Home from an Emergency Department (Pediatrics. 2012;129:e562-e566; http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/doi/10.1542/peds.2011-3444), describes many factors and considerations involved in this potential modification of the existing practice of obtaining medications following...

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