Recently, medication dosage errors have received more political and media attention. Dosage errors are the most common medical errors, affecting about 1.5 million people annually.
Furthermore, U.S. poison-control centers reported more than 200,000 cases per year of medication errors. These cases result in medical costs of around $3.5 billion, and children under 6 years old constitute approximately 30% of these cases.
The PROTECT Initiative (Preventing Overdoses and Treatment Errors in Children Taskforce) was launched in 2008 as a collaborative effort between public health agencies and patient advocates to minimize dosage errors.
In alignment with the PROTECT Initiative effort, this project aims to highlight medication dose error causes and recommendations for improvement by downloading, parsing, and analyzing OTC (over-the-counter) medication labels from the DailyMed historical medication library. We found that over 70% of labels surveyed contained measurement labels in “teaspoons”; in addition, only 10% of manufacturers are using “syringe” as an optimum dosing delivery device. Therefore, health care providers must ensure that the appropriate drug tools, information, and dosages are prescribed to children (especially neonates) because of their differences in response to drugs compared with adults. With this initiative, we can work to minimize the impact of the dosage error problem (for over-the-counter pediatric orally administered liquid medications) on users.
Lefton, Josh; Murray, Jackson; Thabet, Ahmed; Baireddy, Sriram; Shukla, Prakash; Gupta, Mridul; Becker, Reagan; Ertle, Julie; Doan, Tony; and Yang, Aerin
"Supporting the PROTECT Initiative,"
Purdue Journal of Service-Learning and International Engagement: Vol. 9
Available at: https://docs.lib.purdue.edu/pjsl/vol9/iss1/10