A nurse misunderstands an abbreviation on a pharmacy order, and gives an accidental overdose of a drug that slows the heart rate, killing the patient.
Intravenous fluids are administered after surgery at too-high a rate to a child, who then dies because of the error. Confusion over a drug name leads to insulin being added to infant nutrition IV solutions instead of the intended medication, heparin, an anti-clotting drug:
The consequences are fatal.
Despite years of effort to make medications safer, mishaps like these still happen at an alarming rate.
Medication errors cause at least one death every day and injure approximately 1.3 million people annually in the United States, according to the Food and Drug Administration.
Now, new efforts are underway to quickly spread the word about such errors and offer guidance on how to prevent similar mistakes.
Next Discussion: Carb counting »