There are certain medical settings in North Carolina that involve frequent administration of solutions and medications through intravenous lines. Patients should know that the concentrations used can vary from one setting to another. For example, professionals in emergency services might use different concentrations than those in an emergency room. This means that transfer from one situation to another often requires the stopping and restarting of IVs. When there are more instances of reprogramming an IV system, there are more opportunities for related medical errors.
The ASHP has developed an initiative to reduce medication errors with IV and oral liquid medications. The initiative, Standardize 4 Safety, was announced in May 2016, and it is being introduced in three phases. The effort will first address IV and oral medication concentrations being standardized for adults before moving into a focus on the same issues for pediatric situations. The final thrust will involve patient-controlled pumps for analgesic medications.
Although technology in medicine continues to advance at a rapid pace, there can be medical problems because of equipment failure or human error. In some cases, a mechanical error can be rather easy to fix, and a patient may not even become aware of problems in such situations. However, serious programming errors could allow for issues such as inadequate or excessive medication being delivered. An attentive health care professional might quickly rectify such a situation to minimize the impact on patient safety. However, there can also be conditions that interfere with the attentiveness and responsiveness of workers.
A patient might wonder if they can file a medical malpractice claim because of a medication error. A lawyer representing an individual in such a case might first need to determine whether such an error has resulted in damages that warrant legal action.