The Problem

Why is pediatric dosing so challenging? The very nature of the circumstances surrounding pediatric care increases the potential for error:

High Risk / Low Frequency

  • Pediatric patients on average are a small percentage of actual patient volume.
  • Critically ill children are even more rare, time sensitive and stress inducing.
  • Lack of experience promotes degradation of provider skills and competency. 
  • Nearly every medication dose must be calculated based on the child’s weight.
  • Drawing up the correct dose once calculated can be a significant challenge, as providers often must deal in fractions and a variety of syringe sizes.
  • Children experience adverse medication events 3:1 compared to adults.

The blend of complex, multi-layered, time-sensitive decision making, rare circumstances and high-stress environments–creates the worst-case scenario. Though every situation is different and each element of danger falls on an invisible scale of difficulty, the variables that factor against patient safety are always present. The question then becomes: What can we do to improve the systems, processes and conditions to that will increase the odds of success and limit error potential?

At this point you might think to yourself: Providing a reference guide seems like an obvious solution, hasn’t it already been done?

The problem is much deeper than you might imagine.  Besides the high risk / low frequency elements we already discussed, there are bigger issues at play that make the challenges more profound. 

No Standards

  • Dosing recommendations vary by organization and even by physician.  The practice of medicine is complex and the evidence is constantly changing.

Medication Concentrations Vary

  • Mixtures or concentrations of medications vary from moment to moment depending on availability, manufacturer and price.

These elements alone have made it extremely difficult to develop a system that provides you with the specific answers you need to achieve the right dose. As a result, creating a universal guide that works for everyone hasn’t been practical.

However, the evidence is clearly overwhelming: the problem of medication errors is universal and the status quo is no longer acceptable.

What is needed is a practical solution that can be utilized in any environment, giving clinicians precise instructions and answers to help them work aggressively toward eliminating errors and thus improving outcomes.