University of Cambridge: Drug labels lead to wrong doses

January 10, 2008

Doctors treating life-threatening emergencies may be giving incorrect adrenaline doses because of confusing labelling, a University of Cambridge study has found. In a test using mannequins, 12 of 14 doctors using containers on which the amount of adrenaline was shown as a ratio overdosed their patients. Ratios require doctors to calculate how much of a drug to give. Daniel Wheeler, who conducted the research, concluded that if labels showed drug concentrations exclusively as doses, instead of the current system in which both a dose and a ratio are listed, patient safety would be improved.

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