Monday, January 28, 2008

Anatomy of a medical error...

From the Los Angeles Times article:
A technician mistakes an "a" for an "o" in a drug name. A doctor misplaces a decimal point in a prescription order. A nurse reaches for a vial in a cabinet as she's done hundreds of times before, only this time the light is dim and she fails to notice that the powder-blue label is more of a sky blue. The slip-ups are often simple, and always human, and all have happened in U.S. hospitals.

Each simple mistake is supposed to be countered by a recommended backup, a second or third set of eyes -- in other words, guidelines to reduce human error. A lot has to be overlooked in the cascade of errors that result in serious patient harm.
Click here to access the article.

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