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There have always been errors in prescribing medications, and there
are complicating factors in paediatrics - different doses for ages, doses
based on weight etc. Paediatric trainees will be taught and supervised in
safe prescribing but it can be confusing, particularly early in their
career. In addition, medications may also be prescribed by
surgical/ENT/orthopedic teams and obviously the majority will be prescibed
by GP's in the community.
Prior to the children's BNF we had Medicines for Children, which was
felt by many to have a much clearer layout of doses and schedules. I have
yet to meet a paediatrician or paediatric trainee who didn't feel that
this was much more user-friendly. It also had a smaller abridged form with
only the more commonly used drugs. This would serve the need for the
majority of paediatricians and GP's. I appreciate that considerable
resources are required to keep the BNF updated and published, but is this
something that could be revisited
Alternatively, I would fully support electronic versions that are
alluded to in the letter, perhaps with automatic calculations based on
weight and age.