Background To compare the utility of a targeted smartphone application (TSPA) with a non-programmable calculator (NPC) when calculating fluid drip rates (FDR) and constant rate infusions (CRIs).
Methods In a prospective randomised clinical study, 48 fourth-year veterinary students entered one of four parallel groups involving two mock scenarios: fentanyl calculation using an NPC followed by lidocaine calculation using a TSPA, fentanyl (TSPA) followed by lidocaine (NPC), lidocaine (NPC) followed by fentanyl (TSPA) or lidocaine (TSPA) followed by fentanyl (NPC). Students calculated volume of drug added to maintenance fluids and drops/second that correctly administered the drug dose and FDR. Time to completion was assessed using an analysis of variance. A Fisher’s exact test assessed the effect of study period, scenario and device in the proportion of correct/incorrect answers.
Results Participants took longer to complete the scenarios in period 1 and 2 with the NPC (380.7±195.6 seconds and 488±154.8 seconds, respectively) than the TSPA (247.5±88.8 seconds and 224±94.2 seconds, respectively) (P<0.0031 and P<0.0001). Participants were more likely to complete the scenarios incorrectly with the NPC (n=32) when compared with the TSPA (n=7) (P<0.0001).
Conclusions TSPAs are more efficient and accurate when calculating CRIs and FDR compared with conventional methods. Medical mathematics must be emphasised during the veterinary curriculum.
- constant rate infusion
- fluid therapy
- medical error
Statistics from Altmetric.com
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Ethics approval This study was approved by the Human Research Protection Program at Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences (TAMU) (IRB2016-0318D).
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
Data availability statement Data are available on reasonable request. Data may be obtained from Dr Bradley Simon, BSimonDACVAA@gmail.com.
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.