Please take the time to reflect on these questions.
- In your own experiences, can you describe an instance where a medication error may have caused an adverse reaction? What local protocols do you perform to reduce this risk? Can you reference an incident where a medication error occurred? What was the outcome? Feel free to cite news sources or other literature.
- Do you think that such mistakes rarely happen or do they happen all of the time and the public just doesn't hear about it?
- Who do you think should be held responsible for a mistake such as this?
- What if this happened in the hospital or doctor's office, who would be responsible?
- Is there a way for a health care provider to avoid making such a mistake?
One way that medical personnel can avoid such mistakes is to calculate dosages using a standardized formula. The formula most commonly used is D/H x Q. We are going to be practicing using D/H x Q to calculate medication dosages from physician's orders.
We will begin by first having a review of basic math. This is so that you can be refreshed on using decimals since dosages are calculated and rounded to the nearest 10th of a number. This makes it easier to prepare medications for administration, particularly liquids that must be poured or drawn up in a syringe since medication cups and syringes are calibrated in 10ths of a cc/ml.
Though we are focusing specifically on the calculation of medication doses today, in other class sessions we will learn about drug classifications, parts of a medication prescription, and routes of administration of drugs.
All other material in this work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. If you would like to use this material, please provide attribution as follows: Richmond, J. (2016). https://www.ceces.ca/courses/med-math/. Continuing Education Centre for Emergency Services.