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When an Infant or Child is Overdosed on a Medication, it May Not Be Your Fault

by The Beasley Firm  |  September 28, 2011  |  ,

When a doctor prescribes a medication and dose for your child, you trust that the dosage is right. Obviously, a pediatrician will not purposely poison your child, but may make a mistake in calculating the correct medication dose your child should receive.

A recent article in the Journal of Pediatrics shows that the number of accidental poisonings of children has increased 22% from 2001 to 2008. The report indicates that 454,000 children ages five and younger are evaluated in emergency rooms (ER) because of accidental drug overdoses or too much medication. While many of these cases are from children getting into medications they should not have access to, 22,700 of infant, toddler or child poisoning cases nationwide are caused by pediatric dosing errors.

A recent clinical study showed that many of the medication administration spoons, syringes or other equipment that are used are not made to accurately measure the small quantities of medications for infants, toddlers or small children. As an example, many of the syringes used in hospitals today to give oral medications to infants cannot properly measure below 0.1mL, a normal dose prescribed to infants or small children. Many of the medication syringes, medicine pacifiers or medicine spoons sold at stores like CVS, Walgreen’s, Rite Aide, Target, baby stores, Dollar Stores or on the Internet may not have accurate or consistent dose markings, or can not measure smaller doses of medications for smaller baby’s. When you buy these items to make it easier to give your child medicine, you trust that the dose markings are correct. Are they? Then there is the confusion that doses of medication are based on age and not the child’s weight. If you have a premature baby, should you dose medicine based on their birth age, adjusted age or current weight?

Because of all this confusion and inconsistent dosing tools, many of our infants or toddlers are being given too much medicine. Other causes for a child to receive too much medicine are due to an error is calculating kilograms (kg) into pounds, knowing or converting the correct dose for a child with newer medications, and differing recommendations for pediatric medicine doses.

Medication dose errors and accidental medicine overdoses in children are preventable. If your baby or child has been harmed by an overdose of medicine, the experienced legal and medical teams at the Beasley Firm drug error law firm are here to help you. Not only are our attorney physicians familiar with weight conversion calculations and drug prescribing standards, our pediatric and neonatal nurses have actually cared for children who were hospitalized and required medication administration. Because of our medical and nursing knowledge, we are well aware of how medication errors or drug overdoses can happen in infants, toddlers or young children. Please feel free to contact one of our experienced Philadelphia medication mistake lawyers, doctors, pediatric or neonatal intensive care nurses for a strictly confidential and free consultation. We are not just experienced lawyers, doctors, pediatric nurses and neonatal care nurses; we are also parents and grandparents who have had to administer medications to our infants, toddlers and children. We really do understand and are here to help you.

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