A new study determined that small miscalculations caused by human error when preparing doses of medication for young children can lead to potentially fatal consequences.
The problems arise when dosage quantities required are unmeasurable on certain syringes, leaving the dosage amount to be estimated by the doctor. Infants and children do not require as much medication, especially some of the potent medications that are necessary to treat or prevent certain illnesses.
Additionally, some medicines contain morphine, and accidentally overdosing an infant or young child is not out of the question when using potentially inaccurate measuring methods.
Current equipment does not accurately allow for medications to be measured in dosages less than 0.1 mL, and dosages are often less than that amount for young children.
In various clinical studies, researchers discovered that dosage error when giving children potent medications was greater than 25 percent.
The study can be found in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, and explains how clinical and estimated trials were used to gather data.
Experts believe the method of medicating young children needs to be re-evaluated to alleviate potential life-threatening human errors.