When receiving the medication in a medical facility in the United States of America, the last thing in a patient’s mind will be a dosage calculation mistake. To make things worse, there are instances where this happens because of something more than a miscalculation. This is often considered to be because of hesitance on the nation’s part to fully adopt the metric system. Several people make a case for the change to the system owing to the data suggesting the number of mistakes happening because of this.
Usually, drug dosage depends on the weight of a patient. In addition, if there is a mistake in pounds to kilograms conversation, then it could lead to drug overdose in them. While the increase in health records being stored electronically has considerably reduced the paper clutter, this has resulted in mathematical errors too because of a failure in changing the default values. A patient safety nonprofit has listed errors in the pounds to kilograms conversion as one safety concern patients should have. These errors occur because of many reasons. Some are human errors, such as the incorrect conversion of numbers and mistaken settings.
Several medical entities comprising the American Academy of Pediatrics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Institute for Safe Medication Practices have advocated for the switch to the above-mentioned system. This can especially be important to infants. While the switch has been made in some medical facilities, others are reluctant to do it in large part due to the new equipment purchase cost. A study of over 63,000 medication mistakes in very young kids between 2002 and 2012 has shown that about 20% were dosage related ones. There has been a rise in occurrences of these errors by 67% since the year 2002. A bit more than 8% was because of confusion about how the values were measured. That is a rise of 84%.
Although the studies have focused on kids, these calculation mishaps can occur to adults too. Considering the possibility for the loss of life by a mistake such as a wrongly measured switch from one measurement system to the other, it is important for everyone to be wary of the potential thereof. If there has been any case of fatality or worsened medical condition due to this kind of mistake, then speaking to one who is experienced and skilled in wrongful death litigation is advisable.