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Knowledge and practice of prescription and administration of correct dose of paracetamol to children among a selected group of doctors and nurses

Authors:

B. S. M. Wimalasiri ,

University of Ruhuna, Galle, LK
About B. S. M.
Departmet of Nursing, Faculty of Allied Health Sciences
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S. S. Jayasinghe

University of Ruhuna, Galle, LK
About S. S.
Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine
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Abstract

Introduction: In children, paracetamol is the most common agent involved in drug toxicity. Therefore, accurate prescription of paracetamol in healthcare facilities is important in paediatric patients. This study aimed to explore the knowledge and practice of doctors and nurses on administration of correct dose of paracetamol.

 

Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional study was carried out recruiting doctors and nurses from paediatric units and Emergency Treatment Unit (ETU) at Teaching Hospital, Karapitiya, Galle. A self-administered pre-tested questionnaire and bed head tickets were used to collect data.

 

Results: There were 100 participants in the study. Majority (98%) knew correct single therapeutic dose of paracetamol. Ninety three percent of them did not know the maximum daily dose of paracetamol for children. Statistically significant association was seen being a doctor (χ2 = 11.4, p = 0.004) and a doctor in ETU (χ2= 9.02, p = 0.009) on- the knowledge of maximum dose of paracetamol to a child/24 hours.

 

Half of the participants (56%) knew the acute toxic single dose of paracetamol. There was a significant association between work experience in paediatric unit/ ETU with the knowledge of acute single toxic dose of paracetamol (χ2 = 14.8, p = 0.04). Almost all participants (99%) were aware that paracetamol dose calculation depends on the weight of the child. Eighty three percent of prescriptions for inward patients were prescribed with therapeutic doses.

 

Conclusion: Even though paracetamol is a common drug there is a knowledge gap among nurses and doctors on prescription of paracetamol in the selected setting.
How to Cite: Wimalasiri, B.S.M. and Jayasinghe, S.S., 2022. Knowledge and practice of prescription and administration of correct dose of paracetamol to children among a selected group of doctors and nurses. Galle Medical Journal, 27(2), pp.54–60. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/gmj.v27i2.8156
Published on 11 Oct 2022.
Peer Reviewed

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