A renewed effort is being made to push through some changes that may ultimately eliminate thousands of medical mistakes and save hundreds of lives, reports the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
We have reported on this blog about the frequency of mistakes made with medication tubing. Misconnections in tubing has played a role in many medical mistakes-often fatal-affecting all types of patients. The gist of the problem is simple: different tubing is not distinguished from one another, so medication intended for one part of the body, often ends up in the wrong location.
Tragically, infants are often the group most affected by tubing errors. Medication is frequently mixed inadvertently and then given to vulnerable infants. In one high profile case, morphine intended for a mother was accidentally connected to the tubing of her infant daughter. With these connections being made quickly, often in low light, the errors occur at an alarmingly high rate. Many nurses admit that they do not always check to ensure that the tube originates at the desired location.
New measures are being pursued, however, that would require the tubing to be distinguishable to prevent the mistakes. American Medical Association delegates recently approved a resolution on the topic. A member of the group explained, “The implementation of this common sense safety measure has been hindered by industry resistance and delays […] The problem could be easily remedied by the creation of tubing with incompatible connectors that would prevent inappropriate medical tubing connections.”
Our Chicago medical malpractice lawyers at Levin & Perconti support this measure to provide, smart, safe care to patients. This situation highlights the importance of being open and honest when medical mistakes occur so that the frequent problems can be identified and corrected. It is only with this joint effort of holding professionals responsible for their care and workings to catalog the types of mistakes made, that the problem of medical error will ever truly be improved. With lives hanging in the balance, there is no excuse for not moving forward.