Device designed at UNC-Chapel Hill may reduce medication errors

A mistake with medication can cause significant negative side effects to a patient. When the patient is an infant, that mistake can have especially dire consequences. However, there is good news from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill about a scientific advancement that may change all of that. An associate dean is currently developing a device that can more accurately measure doses of medication, thereby decreasing the possibility of medication errors.

The dean says that he came up with the idea because dosage errors in pediatric patients can happen more easily. This is due to the fact that babies often need extremely small amounts of medication, sometimes less than a milliliter. A medical professional may fill a syringe with what he or she thinks is the right dose, but be off by a small amount, such as 0.3 milliliters. Though that amount wouldn’t necessarily matter to an adult patient, it could result in a pediatric patient receiving a much higher dose than needed.

The device that UNC-Chapel Hill is currently working on is a syringe that will be able to accurately measure small amounts of medicine. Being able to rely on consistent and precise dosages of medicine may bring peace of mind to parents of pediatric patients. The developers intend to make the device easy to use and plan to submit it for approval by the Food and Drug Administration as soon as possible.

As well intentioned as this device is, it is not yet available and likely won’t eliminate all medication errors. North Carolina patients and their families need to be able to trust that they will be given the best care by their medical professionals. Those who have been hurt by the negligence of someone in health care may want to file a medical malpractice claim. An experienced attorney can be a lifeline for those who are unsure of where to turn.

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