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Medication Errors - Essay Example

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Since in the healthcare setting, especially in the hospital in-patient environment, the nurse remains in contact with the patient for the better half of the time, the nurses are the executors of care, and they are the final common pathways of transmission of the care processes. As a result, any error made in any step of the care being undetected will appear as a deficit in standards of practice on the part of the nurses. It is not true that nurses do not make any errors, but despite being very careful, there are many other factors that may be found involved in such a medication error incident. Despite not being directly committed by the nurse if an adverse event from drug happens due to error, the nurse is often implicated in such a situation. Present scenario of healthcare demands that every professional should exercise their knowledge and expertise in every step of administered healthcare to prevent such errors. Unfortunately, the blame often falls on the nurse, but it is imperative to find out the preventative solutions to this problem rather than finding the scapegoat (Strand, J.N., Ferner, R. E., Anthony, C., Teichman, P., and Bates, D.W., 2001).
The First Article: Published on June 15, 2006, in The Times and written by Lisa Greene, this article carried the headline, Nurse Error Spotlight Drug's Danger: A pregnant woman died of a magnesium sulfate overdose at South Florida Baptist, despite the drug's well-known hazards. The byline adds comments that an 18-year-old patient was given magnesium sulfate to slow down premature contractions of the uterus; although, the baby son survived, the lady expired, and the hospital issued a statement that error killed the woman. The drug magnesium sulfate is useful in certain situations despite it being a known hazard in the sense that it is reported to cause fatal clinical events. In this care, reportedly, the nurse made an error in calculating the dose. This is apparent from a quotation of a scientific journal article that reports incidences of 52 adverse overdose incidents that included 7 cases of persistent vegetative state or death. In case of this specific patient, the patient attended the hospital with pre-term labor, and the nurse gave her magnesium sulfate which was administered in a larger-than necessary dose. The baby survived, but the mother expired out of respiratory failure despite attempts to revive. The hospital spokes person directly termed this situation as a single incidence of error by an expert professional, and it was accepted to be a calculation of the dose error by the nurses. Naturally, since the authority is concerned about a lawsuit, none other than this is available to analyze the information, but this overlooks another important aspect of the problem. It is well known that even the most experienced nurse may end up in a "single tragic mistake", but it is the responsibility of the hospital authority of health system to have a safety or governance system in place that would make multiple checks before the error happens, especially when the error may be fatal in nature. This throws spotlights to a system's deficiency in designing a process that can identify a person's math error before even the error can reach the patient. This was a terrible and isolated incident, but this calls for well-lubricated and functional safety systems at all levels including prescription, pharmacy, and nursing. Computerized and automated systems even ...Show more


Introduction: Medications errors in medical practice are harming millions of patients, and the extent of harm may translate into death, injury, potentially life-threatening clinical situations that lead to extended suffering and hospital stays, or permanent disabilities…
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Medication Errors
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Medication Errors
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