Spoonfuls can lead to medicine errors, study finds - KAUZ-TV: Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Spoonfuls can lead to medicine errors, study finds

Posted: Updated:
  • NationalMore>>

  • Wine collector set for sentencing on fraud charges

    Wine collector set for sentencing on fraud charges

    Thursday, July 24 2014 6:06 AM EDT2014-07-24 10:06:22 GMT
    A California wine collector faces sentencing in New York after he was convicted of making up to $20 million from 2004 to 2012 by selling bogus bottles of wine.
    A California wine collector the government has characterized as a prolific counterfeiter who sold at least $20 million in fake wine faces at least 11 years in prison when he is sentenced Thursday on fraud charges.
  • Slaying of Fla. law professor is a seeming mystery

    Slaying of Fla. law professor is a seeming mystery

    Thursday, July 24 2014 4:32 AM EDT2014-07-24 08:32:44 GMT
    Detectives say Florida State University law school professor Daniel Markel was shot in the head - but won't say whether he was shot from the front or back. They say he was gunned down at his home in broad...
    Detectives say Florida State University law school professor Daniel Markel was shot in the head - but won't say whether he was shot from the front or back. They say he was gunned down at his home in broad daylight -...
  • Alaska tourist train halts runs after derailment

    Alaska tourist train halts runs after derailment

    Thursday, July 24 2014 4:13 AM EDT2014-07-24 08:13:54 GMT
    A vintage rail company that hauls hundreds of thousands of tourists every year along the route of the historic Klondike Gold Rush has suspended operations while it investigates a derailment that injured nine people.
    A vintage rail company that hauls hundreds of thousands of tourists every year along the route of the historic Klondike Gold Rush has suspended operations while it investigates a derailment that injured nine people.
By LINDSEY TANNER
AP Medical Writer

CHICAGO (AP) - The song says a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down, but a study says that kind of imprecise measurement can lead to potentially dangerous dosing mistakes.

The results, published online Monday in Pediatrics, underscore recommendations that droppers and syringes that measure in milliliters be used for liquid medicines - not spoons.

The study involved nearly 300 parents, mostly Hispanics, with children younger than 9 years old. The youngsters were treated for various illnesses at two New York City emergency rooms and sent home with prescriptions for liquid medicines, mostly antibiotics.

Parents were contacted afterward and asked by phone how they had measured the prescribed doses. They also brought their measuring devices to the researchers' offices to demonstrate doses they'd given their kids.

Parents who used spoonfuls "were 50% more likely to give their children incorrect doses than those who measured in more precise milliliter units," said Dr. Alan Mendelsohn, a co-author and associate professor at New York University's medical school.

Incorrect doses included giving too much and too little, which can both be dangerous, he said. Underdosing may not adequately treat an illness and can lead to medication-resistant infections, while overdoses may cause illness or side effects that can be life-threatening. The study doesn't include information on any ill effects from dosing mistakes.

Almost one-third of the parents gave the wrong dose and 1 in 6 used a kitchen spoon rather than a device like an oral syringe or dropper that lists doses in milliliters.

Less than half the prescriptions specified doses in milliliters. But even when they did, the medicine bottle label often listed doses in teaspoons. Parents often assume that means any similar-sized kitchen spoon, the authors said.

"Outreach to pharmacists and other health professionals is needed to promote the consistent use of milliliter units between prescriptions and bottle labels," the authors said.

___

Online:

Pediatrics: http://www.pediatrics.org

FDA: http://tinyurl.com/oc3bnlk

___

AP Medical Writer Lindsey Tanner can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/LindseyTanner

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • InternationalMore>>

  • Air Algerie plane disappears from radar

    Air Algerie plane disappears from radar

    Thursday, July 24 2014 6:42 AM EDT2014-07-24 10:42:24 GMT
    The official Algerian news agency says an Air Algerie flight from Burkina Faso to Algiers has disappeared from the radar.
    Authorities say a flight operated by Air Algerie carrying 110 passengers and a crew of six has disappeared from the radar on a flight from Burkina Faso to Algiers.
  • Jihadis attack besieged Syrian army base

    Jihadis attack besieged Syrian army base

    Thursday, July 24 2014 6:41 AM EDT2014-07-24 10:41:45 GMT
    Activists say fighters from the extremist Islamic State group stormed parts of a besieged army base in northern Syria, setting off clashes that left dozens killed or wounded on both sides.
    Fighters from the extremist Islamic State group stormed parts of a besieged army base in northern Syria on Thursday, setting off clashes that left dozens killed or wounded on both sides, activists said.
  • Italy welcomes Sudanese woman sentenced to death

    Italy welcomes Sudanese woman sentenced to death

    Thursday, July 24 2014 6:31 AM EDT2014-07-24 10:31:43 GMT
    A Sudanese woman who was sentenced to death in Sudan for refusing to recant her Christian faith has arrived in Italy along with her family, including an infant born in prison.
    A Sudanese woman who was sentenced to death in Sudan for refusing to recant her Christian faith has arrived in Italy along with her family, including an infant born in prison.