So I’ve had just about enough of the boo-hoo bantering about the USA Today article about the baby who received 5x the “normal” amount of amoxicillin and would “writhe in pain”. Lets look at this from a purely scientific standpoint.
According to Amoxicillin on RxList.com:
A prospective study of 51 pediatric
patients at a poison-control center suggested that overdosages of less than
250 mg/kg of amoxicillin are not associated with significant clinical symptoms
and do not require gastric emptying.3
3. Swanson-Biearman B, Dean BS, Lopez G, Krenzelok EP. The effects of penicillin
and cephalosporin ingestions in children less than six years of age. Vet
Hum Toxicol. 1988;30:66-67.
** DISCLAIMER (I hate doing these, you all should be smarter than this) DISCLAIMER **
Before I go on, the details of what happened are sketchy at best not to mention published by a shitty sensationalist media outlet that just wants ratings and attention. Like the 14 year old spoiled drama queen playing the rape card after her boyfriend breaks up with her, you have to treat this all with a huge grain of salt and realization that we are making assumptions here about what happened.
Now, assuming that the child is way premature, say it weighs 1 kg or 2.2 lbs. Amoxicillin comes in your standard 125mg/5cc, 250mg/5cc, or the oddball 400mg/5cc. Nobody writes for the 400mg/5cc so we’ll just assume that the strength doesn’t exist for our example.
For a 1 Kg infant (which im sure the child weighed a bit more than 2.2 lbs) to receive 5 times the “normal” dose (which for our assumption the upper limit will be 250mg/kg since thats the upper limit of no clinical symptoms) the parent would have to give the child 5 teaspoonfuls a day. Thats for a 1kg infant, thats 10 teaspoonfuls a day or 50mL (1/3rd of the bottle) for a 2kg patient (which 4 lbs sounds reasonable for a premature infant).
Now what fucking parent with a fucking premature baby would think that giving 5 teaspoonfuls a day of an antibiotic (or anything) would make sense? Now don’t get me wrong, the mistake shouldn’t of been made in the first place, but don’t you think common sense would kick in around teaspoon number 3 or 4 of “maybe something isn’t right here”. Considering the father is a “assistant professor of biomedical engineering at the University of North Carolina” we aren’t dealing with your standard uneducated village idiot here. How would they know the baby is “writhing in pain” due to the amoxicillin and not just pissed off because its getting over an infection that required IV antibiotics? Do they have baby brain reading machines? Hell, have you tasted amoxicillin suspension? It makes me writhe in pain just smelling the dust when I open the bottle.
The /only/ way that I could see this happening is if the doctor wrote 1.5mL and the pharmacist though it meant 1.5 teaspoons. However 1.5mL’s of the 250/5 is what, 75mg of amoxicillin? For a child that was on IV antibiotics, all that’s going to do is just make the baby spit pink all over the place. I mean thats about as retarded as when PA/NP’s write for 4.56mL’s tid of amoxicillin because their common sense is in their palm pilot and not in their brains were it belongs.
Who knows, I may be way off base here, but from the looks of it the USA Today just added the whole Amoxicillin story as purely emotional sensationalism. Why don’t they write shit about us catching mistakes and saving people vs publically hanging us.