When children learn mathematics in school, they make mistakes along the way and often learn from their mistakes. However, kids are not the only ones who make math mistakes. In fact, a study by researchers from the Department of Pediatrics at New York University School of Medicine and Bellevue Hospital in New York City, found that parents also make math errors, especially when it comes to medication dosages affecting their children.
When adults make a math error with their children’s medication, the wrong drug dose can be given out. Sadly, many children receive wrong doses because their parents have poor math skills. According to this study, 41-percent of parents made dosing errors—primarily underdosing errors (34-percent underdosed and 7-percent overdosed). Unfortunately, underdosing may not be effective in treating an illness, and overdosing can cause harm, adverse effects, and even death.
The reason why so many parents make dosing errors with their children’s medications is because of the difficulty in administering liquid medications. Liquid drugs come in different concentrations and use different dosing instruments, such as cups, syringes, and droppers. Additionally, most parents observed in this study had marginal to low numeracy and arithmetic skills that are needed for dosing accuracy. In fact, parents with poor numeracy had a four-times-greater chance of making a drug dosing error as parents with adequate numeracy.
The problem of giving the wrong medicine doses to children can be addressed three ways:
- Doctors need to do a better job of communicating dosing instructions.
- Pharmacists need to counsel patients and teach them how to dose medications.
- Parents need to read the instructions and use the dosing instrument included or recommended for the medication.
If you or your child has suffered injuries after receiving the wrong drug dose from the pharmacy, contact Kennedy Hodges to speak with a skilled pharmacy error attorney in a free consultation today at 888-526-7616 to find out about your rights.