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South Med J. 2005 Aug;98(8):779-83.

Descriptive epidemiology of infant ingestion calls to a regional poison control center.

Author information

1
Department of Pediatrics, Division of Pediatric Emergency Medicine, Children's Health System, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL 35233, USA. teoco@peds.uab.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

This study was designed to describe the epidemiology of ingestions in infants 6 months of age or younger.

METHODS:

A retrospective chart review from a convenience sample of poison center cases in infants younger than 6 months of age from December 28, 2002, to December 28, 2003, was reviewed.

RESULTS:

A total of 358 cases were reviewed. Incorrectly measured dose, repeated dosing by different caregivers, incorrect dosing interval, and incorrect route accounted for 41% [95% CI, (36%, 46%)] of caregiver dosing misadventures. Ten cases (3%) were due to pharmacy error, and the wrong medication was given in 32 (9%) cases. The total therapeutic misadventure proportion was 53%. Eight percent were 10-fold dosing errors. Thirty-nine (11%) infants were evaluated in an emergency department and 9 (3%) infants were admitted to a health care facility.

CONCLUSIONS:

Therapeutic misadventures caused by dosing errors in infants younger than 6 months of age were prevalent. Most errors occurred with inaccurate measurement of the medication, repeated dosing by caregivers, incorrect dosing interval, and incorrect route. Healthcare providers could increase prevention of therapeutic misadventures by educating caregivers on proper administration of medications and by demonstrating the use of appropriate measuring devices.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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