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Guest andie

Iron Supplements And Children Fyi

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Guest andie

A word of caution to parents who's children are starting on iron supplements for low levels.

It is not unusual for a Doctor to prescribe an adult dose of iron for children with low levels.

ie. 300mg three times per day of either ferrous gluconate or ferrous sulphate.

Here is my story.

My son was diagnosed with a malabsorption syndrome when he was 2. nothing specific and i was told 'not to worry'.

he always suffered from very high fevers when sick and periodic unexplained fevers.

when he was 8 he had a sustained illness of over a week with high fevers and routine blood work in emerg showed he was neutropenic. (As low as a chemotherapy patient)

we were sent to a pediatritian who did extensive testing, including celiac (no biopsy), as well as exotic illnesses. he had all the makings of an autoimmune disease, a positive family history, but nothing could be found conclusive. His iron levels, B12, folate levels also very very low.

At the end he was prescribed iron in an adult dose. Take the liquid he said, as it is better absorbed and easier to get into children.

the script read '300mg of elemental iron three times daily'.

i got the script filled, got the teaching done, and started to leave the store. being a nurse i opened the bag to read the bottle.

Alas! There is 30mg of elemental iron in 5 mls of liquid. I did some quick math. That was 150mls of liquid a day from a 250ml bottle. Did I need a new bottle every other day?????? that didn't seem right. I returned to the pharmacist who freaked! This script has now gone through at least 2 'professionals'.

the medical profession has it in for my son.

When he was also 2 (a bad year) he stuck his hand through his fathers legs and into a bench grinder.

After many hours in emerg with mangled, but intact index finger, we were given a bottle of morphine to take home for overnight from emerg.

The bottle read 5mg/ml. Take 15mls every 4 hours as needed.

Just for reference, cancer patients take 5-10 mg for moderate pain. this dose was 75mg. he's 2.

Thank God my husband wasn't giving out the meds that night as he is a stickler on instructions and being a lay person wouldn't know the right dose if it bit him in the butt! he would have given the dose, tucked his son in for the night with a kiss and we would have buried him in the morning!

Being in the health profession, these mistakes are totally understandable from a clinical point of view. However the outcomes are unthinkable and all because of one letter in the alphabet.

'Take 15mls every 4 hours' should have been 15mgs.

my husband won't even give tylenol without checking with me anymore.

Just a word to the wise. Research the drugs and know a correct dose before giving. If any doubts at all ask questions. There is no such thing as a dumb question when you are dealing with the welfare of a child. Understanding is the key to better health. Asking a health care professional keeps them on their toes and maybe these slip ups won't happen.


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