Medication errors can be made with IV-administered drugs

On Behalf of | Dec 17, 2020 | Medical Malpractice

Medication and prescription drug mistakes can be easy to overlook at first. They might cause your treatment not to work. You could have an allergic reaction that no one can explain. Sometimes, however, prescription mistakes can have catastrophic consequences for patients.

It may seem like pills could be easy to mix up and would be the source of many medication errors, while intravenous (IV) treatments would be hard to make a mistake with. How many medication errors in hospitals involve IV drug administration rather than pills?

More than half of all drug errors involve IV medication

Intravenous drugs often come from a pharmacist. Trained professionals carefully blend the fluid administered through IV bags. Most IV drug administration utilizes machines that time the delivery of the drug. You might think that these systems would eliminate most human error.

However, research shows that roughly 60% of all medication errors in the U.S. involve mistakes with IV drugs. It’s possible for a nurse to give a patient the wrong IV bag. Slip-ups by a pharmacist could result in inaccurate doses or an incorrect label. Mistakes with timing or dosage settings on machinery can also lead to medical consequences.

What rights do you have after an IV medication mistake?

Both the pharmacist working on the IV medication and the nurse or other medical professional who administered it should take great care to avoid making mistakes. Every nurse checking on you during their rounds should also try to verify that everything about your care is in order.

Frequent checks are crucial during IV drug administration for safety. Failing to check a label is a mistake that only takes seconds to make. It can have consequences that last for years. If you or a loved one has suffered harm due to an IV medication error, an experienced attorney can provide guidance.