Dosing errors common to children’s liquid medications

Dennis Thompson
Health Day Reporter

Monday, September 12, 2016 (HealthDay News)-Parents may give too much or too little medicine to their children when dispensing medications, especially when using dosing cups, a new study Is reporting.

During laboratory experiments, researchers found that four in five parents made at least one dosing mistake when using either a dosing cup or an oral syringe.

In many cases, these errors are large enough to raise concerns, says senior researcher Associate Professor Shonna Yin. Pediatrics At NYU School of Medicine in New York City.

“More than 20 percent of parents made at least one dosing mistake, more than twice the dose listed on the label,” Yin said.

Studies have shown that dosing cups are far less reliable than oral syringes in terms of dosage.

“Parents were four times more likely to make mistakes in cups than syringes,” Yin said.

Dr. Minu George, director of general pediatrics at the Cohen Pediatrics Center in New Hyde Park, New York, said these errors could overdose children and cause serious health consequences.

“When we’re talking about a very small child, you can easily overdose the child,” George said. “For some drugs, the consequences can be as dire as death.”

More than two-thirds of the dosing errors made during the new study were related to overdose, the researchers reported.

Dr. Blair Hammond, an assistant professor of pediatrics at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City, said children may receive too little medicine to treat their illness.

“This is a particular problem for antibiotics, and I really want to get the right dose of the drug,” Hammond said.

This study was published online in the journal on September 12th. Pediatrics..

The researchers asked 2,110 parents of children under the age of 8 to measure nine doses of the drug in a random order. The exercise included various measurement units (milliliters and teaspoons) and either a dosing cup or an oral syringe.

According to the findings, parents administered the wrong dose in 43% of the time with a dosing cup, compared to 16% of the time with an oral syringe.

Medications for very young children are prescribed based on their weight. According to Hammond, it should be administered very carefully to avoid dosing mistakes.

Yin pointed out that the dosing cup is much less accurate than the syringe.

She said that missing the desired measurement line with a wide cup would result in a greater error than the same mistake with a narrow syringe. People can also pour the wrong amount if they don’t hold the cup flat or at eye level, she added.

Parents were provided with a label for only one teaspoon of the drug, but more errors occurred when given a measurement tool listing both milliliters and a teaspoon, the study authors reported.

Dr. Michael Grosso, Medical Director and Chief Medical Officer at Huntington Hospital in Northwell Health, New York, said:

“And how many people in the world know what” milliliters “are? We ask our parents to understand all this at home, in the dark, with a feverish kid, “he said.

According to Hammond, parents need to pour the drug solution into a dosing cup and suck it into an oral syringe to measure the most accurate dose. This method allows you to quickly reconfirm your dose and prevent the syringe from contaminating the bottle.

According to Hammond, parents should request an oral syringe from their doctor or pharmacist if they are not provided with an oral syringe.

She said they could also help make the measurements correct by drawing the amount of lines needed to give to the child or tape the syringe.

Parents can avoid future problems by asking their doctor to use their child’s weight to calculate a common appropriate dose over the counter Drugs such as Tylenol, Motorin When Benadryl, Hammond was added. They need to use an oral syringe to administer those doses.

Parents should not dispense medicine from a spoon in the kitchen, as silverware can vary widely in size and shape. The American Academy of Pediatrics and the US Food and Drug Administration recommend the use of standard-marked dosing tools.

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Source: Shonna Yin, MD, Associate Professor, Pediatrics, NYU School of Medicine, New York City. Minu George, MD, Chief, General Pediatrics, Cohen Children’s Medical Center, New Hyde Park, New York; Doctor of Medicine Blairhammond, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York City. Dr. Michael Grosso, MD, Medical Director and Chief Medical Officer at Huntington Hospital in Northwell Health, New York. October 2016, Pediatrics

Dosing errors common to children’s liquid medications

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