Decreasing prescribing errors during pediatric emergencies: a randomized simulation trial.
Calculation errors in weight-based dosing can lead to serious adverse medication events in children. This simulation study randomized residents in a pediatric emergency department to receive either a reference book with precalculated weight-based dosing for medications or a card providing dose per body weight that required manual calculation. Each resident completed two scenarios, one with the precalculated doses and one requiring medication calculations. Although there was no statistically significant difference in overall error rates, errors for continuous infusions and 10-fold errors for bolus medications were significantly lower in the precalculated dose group. This study demonstrates that precalculated medication doses may decrease rates of certain high-priority medication prescribing errors. A past WebM&M commentary discussed an incident involving a pediatric dosing error.