Medicine – Make Sure You Have the Right Dose!

Have you heard of the “State of the Union address”? Well, today we’ll discuss the “State Gene1of Medication Administration”.  And the short version is that it’s rather a mess.  You’ve heard this before; “Don’t use household spoons to measure medicines”.  A spoon you use to eat that soup with isn’t the same thing as a spoon you use to measure exact quantities when you are cooking.

So, when you give Jr. his dose of medicine, which do you use; the measuring cooking spoon, or the eating-spoon, or did someone give you a syringe or some other thing with lines on it and words like milliliters, like “mls”?  Ah, confusion abounds.  Well, there are many people and groups, The American Academy of Pediatrics, for one, that think we should be prescribing and thus giving all medications in milliliters, or mls, which is the metric measurement.

So that means having a specific measuring device, like that syringe, and not using the cooking spoons or, heaven forbid the tableware.  You will probably see more health care providers writing for mls.  Be sure you clarify with your provider and the pharmacist as to whether you are to give mls or teaspoons and be sure you have the right measuring device.  There is a HUGE difference in 2.5 mls and 2.5 teaspoons.

And just FYI reminders on the medication front, post that Poison Control Center number at all phones, 800-222-1222, keep all medications out of the reach of children, and use safety caps.  Read the label before giving any medication, and know how to destroy left over medicine. OK, the “State of Medication Administration speech” is officially over…I hope I didn’t leave you in the…“State of Confusion”….Give that kid a hug! Gene

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