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Are there fewer IV medications errors than other kinds?

On Behalf of | Oct 19, 2023 | Prescription Errors

Anyone who has had to take more than one medication at a time knows how easy medication errors are to make. People can mix up their medications because they look too similar. They can make mistakes because they don’t understand how to properly time their doses. Even when someone has clear instructions from their doctor and keeps notes about when they should take their medications, they might forget to take a dose or double up on one medication while failing to take another.

These mistakes can impact how successful a treatment proves to be. People sometimes assume that having medication administered by professionals will reduce their risk of a mistake, but medical employees can very easily make the same mistakes that the average person would when dispensing pills in a hospital. Additionally, it’s important to understand that when compared with tablets or capsules, which people could easily misplace or confuse, intravenous (IV) drugs provided in a fluid form may seem safer but statistics related to drug administration show that this is not the case.

IV errors are shockingly common

In theory, nurses and other medical professionals play a minimal role in the administration of IV drugs. They start the line, hang the bag and input information about the drug and dosage into the machine. The IV drug delivery machinery handles everything else. However, is very easy for things to go wrong at every stage in that process. Anywhere from roughly 6% to more than 60% of IV drug treatments involve some kind of error, and a fraction of those cases have serious consequences for the patient.

Sometimes, pharmacies make mistakes when mixing or labeling IV bags. Nurses might accidentally give one patient the medication intended for another. Perhaps the most common error is when a nurse inputs the information into the Machinery wrong, resulting in a patient receiving the drug too quickly or too slowly, both of which can cause challenges.

Patients can end up experiencing a dangerous drug interaction if they receive the wrong medication or even struggling through an overdose because the drugs enter their bloodstream too quickly. Major medication errors can impact the effectiveness of a drug regimen and could lead to a variety of secondary medical consequences that could prove debilitating for the party affected.

Filing a medical malpractice claim is a reasonable and appropriate response to a medication error that has resulted in a verifiable negative impact on someone’s health.