Medhealth Review

New Technology Aims to Reduce Prehospital Dosing Errors

Incorrectly administered medication doses are some of the most common and fatal medical errors. The FDA gets more than 100,000 reports of suspected administration errors annually in the U.S. alone.

Suppose patients are given the incorrect medication, too little or too much medicine. In that case, they may encounter adverse drug events such as trouble breathing or not enough medicine to treat their emergency. Around the world, medication errors are another significant cause of death.

Many patients’ first contact with healthcare is in an ambulance, with EMS personnel, during a crisis. The current practice requires EMS professionals in the field to guess a patient’s weight and estimate the dosage of weight-based drugs. 

The professionals will have to rely heavily on their visual assessment to guess the weight as patients may only sometimes be in a position to provide valuable information. Although this is a crucial skill, it is typically not an active component of professional training. Therefore, accurately guessing the weight is a skill EMS professionals must learn independently.

Emergency medicine is frequently dosed and given to patients based on their weight. Weight-based dosing is commonly used when prescribing or giving medications because a “one-size-fits-all” dose is not always the best option. The ideal method for such a dose is always to customize it for the patient.

Hospital scales can give precise weights for patients. However, the space on EMS trucks is constrained and unsuitable for mounting hospital scales. Also, such scales cant be used with foldable stretchers.

There have been numerous attempts to remove the reliance on guesswork.

The OneWeight/OneDose system uses advanced medical technology to eliminate guesswork and, ultimately, to reduce dosing errors in the field.

The OneWeight seamlessly attaches to existing ambulance gurneys and works like a scale so EMS professionals can obtain accurate patient weights. Linked to OneWeight is OneDose, a software that instantly calculates the correct dosage amount and outputs the solution, omitting estimation. 

The days of prescription pads and hand-written medication orders have quickly faded into an era of electronic medical records and advanced software. Unfortunately, while there have been technological advancements in the medical field, the grossly outdated guessing method continues to be used, which leads to the under or overdosing of medication

EMS personnel deserve technological advancements to provide the best care to community members. Innovations, such as Hinckley Medical’s OneWeight and OneDose systems, are pivotal in furthering efficient, accurate care before patients reach the hospital.

In conjunction with the OneWeight system, the OneDose application calculates the appropriate dose for EMS personnel to administer to the patient based on the patient weights that are automatically uploaded to the application.

The OneWeight system from Hinckley Medical makes prehospital care more effective, precise, and dependable in a range of circumstances. 

The OneWeight TM Universal Gurney Scale from Hinckley Medical was chosen as a 2022 EMS World Expo Innovation Winner at the largest EMS exhibition in the world.

By Abraham Campos, MD, Chief Medical Officer at Hinckley Medical

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