Infants and children are at extra risk for serious health problems when given incorrect doses of medication via syringe, depending on the type of medication, according to a University of Toronto study, published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ).
The study involved small doses of medication, needed in certain situations as these are sometimes mixed in high concentrations. These medications are especially strong, that’s why they have to be given in minute portions.
Results from the study suggest that the way these medications are given today could potentially put infants and children at risk of getting the wrong dosage. The report states that current equipment used do not accurately measure these small doses, increasing the likelihood for incorrect doses of medication.
Written by the authors, “"Our findings indicate a substantial source of dosing error that involved potent medications and affected more than a quarter of the children studied. Small volumes of stock solution are required because of the relatively low doses needed for infants and young children and the relatively high concentrations of commercially available stock solutions. The clinical sequelae of errors occurring as a result of preparing doses from small volumes will be compounded by incomplete safety data, errors in medication orders, and errors in preparation or administration."