Navigation Links
Doctors may be giving the wrong dosage of adrenaline in an emergency because of labelling
Date:12/31/2007

A new study by Cambridge University reveals that doctors treating life-threatening emergencies such as allergy attacks may give the wrong dosage of adrenaline (epinephrine) because of confusing labelling.

Adrenaline is stored in salt water in glass ampoules which are broken open when the drug is needed. The amount of adrenaline contained in the ampoule is usually expressed as both a dose (1 mg of the drug per 1 mL of salt water) and a ratio (1 part drug for every 1000 parts of salt water) on the label.

The ratio requires doing arithmetic to figure out how much drug to give. Therefore, doctors understand doses much better (and quicker) than ratios. Dr Daniel Wheeler at the University of Cambridge concluded from his research that having to do extra calculations to figure out how much adrenaline to give a person in an emergency might lead to the errors and delays which are common in administering the drug.

Dr Wheeler said: It is well documented that patients are commonly given the wrong dosage of adrenaline.

In order to determine whether the labelling was indeed the cause of the high number of dosing errors, the researchers set up mock scenarios. They programmed a medical mannequin to look like it was having a life-threatening allergic reaction. They then gave the doctors ampoules of adrenaline and told them to treat the emergency.

One half of the doctors were randomly assigned to ampoules with labels that had the adrenaline dose. The other half were randomly assigned to ampoules with labels that had the amount of adrenaline expressed as a ratio. The researchers then measured the amount of drug the doctors gave and how long it took them to give it.

All but 2 doctors out of 14 whose ampoules with labels that expressed the amount of adrenaline as a ratio overdosed their patients. Because they had to figure out how much drug to give, the doctors using ampoules labeled with a ratio also took about 1.5 minutes longer to give it.

The findings might be different if the doctors had to treat a real person. In reality, the labels have doses and ratios, not one or the other, said Dr Wheeler. However, this does give us insight into the problem and a fairly easy solution expressing drug concentrations exclusively as doses we believe would improve patient safety.


'/>"/>
Contact: Dr Daniel Wheeler
dww21@cam.ac.uk
44-019-542-11971
University of Cambridge
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Doctors learn to control their own brains pain responses to better treat patients
2. Drug dosages often incorrect for obese patients
3. Triage study challenges notions of emergency medical response to disaster
4. Human embryonic stem cells remain embryonic because of epigenetic factors
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/18/2017)... 18, 2017  Socionext Inc., a global expert in SoC-based imaging ... server, the M820, which features the company,s hybrid codec technology. A ... Tera Probe, Inc., will be showcased during the upcoming Medtec Japan ... at the Las Vegas Convention Center April ... Click here for ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... 11, 2017 Research and Markets has announced ... report to their offering. ... global eye tracking market to grow at a CAGR of 30.37% ... Tracking Market 2017-2021, has been prepared based on an in-depth market ... landscape and its growth prospects over the coming years. The report ...
(Date:4/5/2017)... 2017 Today HYPR Corp. , leading ... component of the HYPR platform is officially FIDO® ... security architecture that empowers biometric authentication across Fortune 500 ... secured over 15 million users across the financial services ... home product suites and physical access represent a growing ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/10/2017)... Philadelphia, PA (PRWEB) , ... October 10, 2017 ... ... University City Science Center’s FirstHand program has won a US2020 STEM Mentoring Award. ... accept the award for Excellence in Volunteer Experience from US2020. , US2020’s mission ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... Oct. 10, 2017 International research firm Parks Associates ... speak at the TMA 2017 Annual Meeting , October 11 in ... the residential home security market and how smart safety and security products ... Parks Associates: Smart ... "The residential security market ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... CALIFORNIA (PRWEB) , ... October 10, 2017 , ... ... technological innovation and business process optimization firm for the life sciences and healthcare ... BoxWorks conference in San Francisco. , The presentation, “Automating GxP Validation for ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... DIEGO , Oct. 9, 2017  BioTech ... biological mechanism by which its ProCell stem cell ... critical limb ischemia.  The Company, demonstrated that treatment ... amount of limbs saved as compared to standard ... the molecule HGF resulted in reduction of therapeutic ...
Breaking Biology Technology: