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Using kitchen spoons to take medicine dangerous

Last Updated: Tuesday, January 5, 2010 - 17:19

New York: In an answer to why one should
steer clear of using ordinary spoons when taking liquid
medicines, a new research suggests that such careless
practice raises the risk of potentially dangerous drug

According to the study carried out by researchers at
Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, many people often
ignore doctors` advice and grab a kitchen spoon to serve up
their liquid medicine, making themselves prone to the risks of
drug overdose.

For their study, the researchers asked some cold and flu
sufferers to pour one teaspoon of nighttime flu medicine into
kitchen spoons of differing sizes.

Depending upon the size of the spoon, the 195 former
patients poured an average of eight per cent too little or 12
per cent too much medicine.

"When pouring into a medium-size tablespoon, participants
under-dosed. But when using a larger spoon, they poured too
much medicine," said Dr Brian Wansink, Director of the
Cornell Food and Brand Lab, who led the study.

"Twelve per cent more may not sound like a lot, but this
goes on every four to eight hours, for up to four days,"
Wansink explained.

"So it really adds up?to the point of ineffectiveness or
even danger."

"Simply put, we cannot always trust our ability to
estimate amounts," said the study`s co-author, Dr. Koert van
Ittersum, Assistant Professor of Marketing at Georgia Tech.

"In some cases it may not be important, but when it comes
to the health of you or your child, it is vital to make an
accurate measurement."

Wansink and van Ittersum recommend using a proper
device a measuring cap or dropper, or dosing spoon or
syringe to measure liquid medicine.

The findings are published as a letter in the Jan 5 issue
of the Annals of Internal Medicine.


First Published: Tuesday, January 5, 2010 - 17:19

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