Purpose: Incorrect dosage was the most common type of medication errors in neonate patients. Different dosing recommendations from common reference sources may have contributed to the errors. This study assesses the compliance rate with the common reference sources in antibiotic dosage prescribed for preterm infants in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Methods: A retrospective study using chart review was conducted at a tertiary care medical center with university affiliation in Taiwan. Study subjects were preterm neonates admitted to the NICU of the medical center between 2000 and 2002 and prescribed at least one antibiotic during the stay. Recommendations from three commonly used reference sources (Pediatric Dosage Handbook, Neonatal Drug Formulary, and Neofax) were employed to evaluate the dosage compliance of the antibiotic prescriptions. Results: A total of 433 preterm infants and 3459 prescriptions were included. Depending on the reference source used, the percentages of antibiotic prescriptions where both the dose and the interval were compliant with recommendations ranged from 36.88 to 87.54%. Conclusions: A significant proportion of antibiotics prescribed for preterm neonates in this medical center did not comply with the recommended dosage from common reference sources. Future studies should investigate the clinical impacts of the dosing deviation.
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