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Types of Errors

Dangerous and Defective Drugs If you put your trust in a pharmaceutical company and were hurt by their product, you deserve compensation for your suffering.
Wrong Medication Did you receive the wrong medication or incorrect prescription from a pharmacy? If you have suffered because of a medication error please call us for a free case review.
Wrong Dosage Common forms of medication error: incorrect dosage error. Order our free book to learn how to protect yourself and your family from wrong dosage errors.
Other Errors Order our free book, "How to Make Pharmacies Pay for your Injuries Caused by Medication Errors, to learn your rights in prescription error cases.
Kids Rx Errors Order a free copy of The Top 10 Tips to Protect Your Children Against Pharmacy Errors. If you have suffered a prescription error contact our firm today.
Pharmacy Malpractice If you have suffered an injury because a pharmacy dispensed the wrong medication or made an error with your prescription, you are able to file a claim for negligence or malpractice and receive the compensation you deserve.
Walgreens Pharmacy Error Claims There have been numerous claims brought against Walgreens for pharmacy errors or prescription errors. Order our free book to learn how to take action.
CVS Pharmacy Error Claims If you've been injured because of a CVS Pharmacy prescription error, call us for help with your lawsuit at 888-526-7616.
State Pharmacy Boards If you have been severely injured because of a medication error, contact board-certified attorneys immediately to investigate your case free of charge.
Drug & Pharmacy Error Prevention Filing a pharmacy error lawsuit is the only way to make pharmacies take accountability for mistakes. Call our board certified attorneys for a free case review.
State Pharmacy Laws State laws on pharmacy malpractice. Learn the pharmacy error Statute of Limitation laws that apply to your state. Call 877-342-2020 for a free consultation.

When IV Dosing Errors Occur at Hospitals, Patients Suffer

David W. Hodges
Partner at Kennedy Hodges LLP practicing pharmacy error, medical malpractice and personal injury law

Mistakes are made with medications that should never be made. This is because medication errors are typically preventable mistakes. Shockingly, even trained medical professionals in hospitals can make mistakes using intravenous (IV) medication systems. When nurses or pharmacists mistakenly fill the wrong drug or wrong dosage of drugs in IV bags, a serious IV dosing error can cause harm to unassuming patients.

Sadly, when intravenous medications are involved in hospital medication mistakes, patients often suffer serious side-effects. This is because intravenous medications are delivered directly into the bloodstream and can be more harmful than medication errors involving oral drugs. A simple calculation error or confusion during an IV infusion can result in a serious IV dosing error that causes severe negative consequences.

Calculation Mistakes Cause Dosage Errors

Most general purpose IV devices are programmed at the patient’s bedside, which has led to many medication errors being made in the following ways:

  • The wrong dosage may be selected by mistake because there are so many doses of medications available
  • The range of programming options is enormous, which makes the IV medication process error-prone
  • A nurse can overlook a decimal point and administer the wrong dosage
  • Hospital staff can mistakenly press a key twice, which can lead to a medication overdose

Because there are many dosing limits, concentrations, and units available, errors often occur with IV medications. Unfortunately, it is far too easy for a nurse to dispense a different dose to a patient than what was ordered by a doctor. Because of this, hospitals should do the following to minimize IV dosing errors, including:

  • There should be one strength of solution—or as few as possible—for each medication
  • Hospitals should use a pre-mixed intravenous solution to reduce mixing errors
  • All IV solutions should be properly mixed in the hospital pharmacy
  • IV solution bags should have a calculation aid on the label so that nurses don’t have to make calculations that could result in the wrong dose
  • All hospital workers should review the patient’s medication information before administering any drugs
  • Smart computerized IV systems should be used to reduce the opportunities for error

When hospital nursing staff are overworked, tired, distracted, or busy, they may cause more IV dosing errors. This is why intravenous solutions should be mixed only by hospital pharmacists. When fewer people are involved, the chances for errors are less. However, hospital pharmacists can still make pharmacy errors, but it is often less than the errors made by nursing staff.

Unfortunately, the staff might not even know they have selected an incorrect amount or strength of intravenous solution. If you are a victim of the wrong dosage, please contact a skilled medication error lawyer at Kennedy Hodges today at 888-526-7616 for a free initial consultation and free copy of our report, How to Make Pharmacies Pay for Injuries Caused by Medication Errors.