Clinical utility of a targeted smartphone application to aid veterinary students in calculating constant rate infusions and perioperative fluid drip rates.
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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.
author list (cited authors)
White, J. F., Scallan, E. M., Lizarraga, I., & Simon, B. T
complete list of authors
White, Joel F||Scallan, Elizabeth M||Lizarraga, Ignacio||Simon, Bradley T