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Medication preparation in pediatric emergencies: comparison of a web-based, standard-dose, bar code-enabled system and a traditional approach.

OBJECTIVES: Increased acuity within the pediatric emergency department increases the risk of medication-related adverse events, despite the availability of validated dosing references. The eBroselow system is a standardized, web-based, bar code-enabled dosing system that eliminates the need for mathematic calculations. This study was designed to assess the accuracy of the eBroselow system and the time needed to prepare medications during pediatric simulated resuscitations compared with standard dosing references.

METHODS: This is a two-treatment, two-period crossover trial in which 13 nurses from the adult emergency department who had had pediatric advanced life support training within the previous 3 years, carried out medication dosing during pediatric code simulations. Nurses were randomized to the eBroselow system or to traditional dosing references during period one and transitioned to the opposite treatment group during period two.

RESULTS: Use of the eBroselow system resulted in a 24.6% increase in the accuracy of prepared medications, with a complete elimination of clinically significant errors (those ≥20% deviation from the recommended dose). In addition, on average, medications were prepared 8 minutes faster with the eBroselow system versus standard dosing references.

CONCLUSIONS: Use of the eBroselow system, a standardized, bar code-based, electronic medication dosing reference, increased the accuracy of medication doses prepared during pediatric code simulations by nearly 25%, with no errors being considered clinically significant.

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