Monday, October 11, 2010
Medical Reports: Difficult Dose
When it comes to an emergency involving a child seconds count when paramedics arrive on the scene they need to be able to give the right amount of life-saving medication right away, but too often, critical mistakes are made. 7s Diana Diaz shows us how a local doctor came up with a new way to avoid a Difficult Dose.
WSVN -- Glenda Robinson can smile now watching her 6-year-old son Jeremy Splash around in the water, but it was a very different scene four years ago when his older sister found him floating face down in the backyard pool.
Glenda Robinson: "We don't know how long he was in the water, but she said when my husband pulled him out, he was purple, blue purple."
They called 911 and paramedics rushed to the scene to try and save Jeremy.
Glenda Robinson: "The paramedics are the life line at that point."
But for rescue crews, treating a child can be much harder than treating an adult.
Dr. Peter Antevy: "Because they don't know how much a child weighs and they can't figure out the critical doses of those medications quickly."
Pediatric ER doctor Peter Antevy says all too often precious seconds just slip away. That's why he's now teaching student paramedics a new way to figure out the correct amount of medication a child needs in an emergency.
Dr. Peter Antevy: "That child will suffer for minutes on end until that child gets the right medication dose."
Up until now, paramedics had to measure the child estimate weight and calculate the correct dose of medication they should give .
Dr. Peter Antevy: "Show us how you would figure out the dose of epinephren for this child."
Paramedic: "So for 3 kilograms that would be .3 milligrams and then 4 kilograms is .4 and then 5 would be .5"
But under the old method it was easy to make mistakes.
Dr. Peter Antevy: "That's a 10-fold overdose of epinephren."
And if a child had been given that size dose it could have been deadly.
Dr. Peter Antevy: "We need a better method. We need to simplify things. We need to give people the tools so they can remember something easily, quickly, right now."
So he came up with the hand-tevy method by simply counting the child's age on your hand and then the weight.
Nick figured out the right dosage right away.
Nicholas Vanwinkle: "I think it's a great system, easy to learn and it's very easy to remember."
Another advantage they can figure out the proper dose on the way to the scene instead of waiting until they get there.
Dr. Peter Antevy: "It means the difference between life and death."
No one knows that better than Glenda and her family, whose son is now a happy, thriving 6-year-old thanks to the quick work of paramedics that grateful day.
Glenda Robinson: "Every second counts and you can't get it back."
Diana Diaz: "The hand-tevy method is already being used by doctors and nurses at Joe Dimaggio Children's Hospital."
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