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[Reblog] The Doctor Is In: The arithmetic of children’s medicine

[Reblog]

The Doctor Is In: The arithmetic of children’s medicine

The Doctor Is In is an occasional series where JHU Press authors discuss the latest developments and news in health and medicine.

Guest post by Edward A. Bell, Pharm.D., BCPS

Do you know how to properly measure and administer medicine to your child? Arecent study presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies annual meetingsuggests that parents with low reading and math skills may not.

This study is similar to others in that it describes how common and easy it is for parents to err when determining and measuring liquid medication doses for their children. A multitude of factors contribute to the potential for these errors, including misinterpretation of medications and their strengths and miscalculation of a child’s specific dose by his or her weight. What is interesting about this study is that it evaluated a unique aspect of how parents determine medication doses for their children—the parents’ reading and math skills. Nearly one-half of the parents (41%) made a dosing error, demonstrating that the process of giving a dose of liquid medication to an infant or child can be somewhat complicated and that errors can be easy to make. According to anarticle on ScienceDaily, “parents’ math scores, in particular, were associated with measuring mistakes, with parents who scored below the third grade level on the math test having almost a five times increased odds of making a dosing error.”

Health care providers—including physicians, pharmacists, and nurses—should not assume that all parents can accurately administer medicine to their child, and should adequately educate parents on how to do so.

Edward A. Bell is a pediatric pharmacist and a professor of clinical sciences at Drake University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences and the Blank Children’s Hospital and Clinics, Des Moines, Iowa. His book A Parent’s Guide to Children’s Medicines, is forthcoming this summer.

The information provided in this blog post is not meant to substitute for medical advice or care provided by a physician, and testing and treatment should not be based solely on its contents. Instead, treatment must be developed in a dialogue between the individual and his or her physician. This post has been written to help with that dialogue. The services of a competent medical professional should be obtained whenever medical advice is needed.

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July 23, 2012 Posted by | Consumer Health | , , | Leave a comment

Older patients confused about multiple drug dosing

Older patients confused about multiple drug dosing

From the March 4 2011 Science Daily news item

Many older patients, who take an average of seven medicines a day, are so confused by the vague instructions on prescription bottles they don’t realize they can combine their medications to take them more efficiently. A new study shows patients thought they had to take seven medicines at least seven and up to 14 separate times a day. Researchers recommend a standardized universal medication drug schedule at morning, noon, evening and bedtime.

A complex and confusing regimen means people are less likely to take their drugs properly, and that means they are not getting the full benefits of their medicine,” said Michael Wolf, associate professor of medicine and of learning sciences at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. He is lead author of the study, funded by the National Institute on Aging, that will be published February 28 in Archives of Internal Medicine.***

***For suggestions on how to get this article for free or at low cost, click here

 

March 4, 2011 Posted by | Consumer Health, Medical and Health Research News | , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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