Pharmacologic Agents

The indications for the use of specific drugs are essentially the same for children as for adults. Particular to pediatrics, however, is the problem of drug dosage. Proper dosage in children requires knowledge of the patient's weight ( Table.„.10z2.), knowledge of the dose (usually given in milligrams per kilogram), and error-free calculation and delivery. Problems may arise in remembering the correct dose, performing calculations in the crisis situation (a common error involves the misplacement of a decimal point and results in 10 times or one-tenth the correct dosage), and delivery of the correct dosage (because of an error in drawing up the correctly calculated amount). Use of a chart with precalculated drug doses can help reduce dosage errors ( Table 10.-3.). However, estimating a child's weight accurately so that the proper dosage can be determined from the table is not easy, especially in a crisis situation. Choosing the proper sized equipment for pediatric patients is similarly difficult. Valuable time can be lost in weight estimation, dosage calculations, and equipment selection.

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TABLE 10-2 Body Weight Estimation Guidelines

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