Very interesting thread going in the general discussion, a med error caused a death and the nurse that hung the med is looking for support or others...
she/he states that 7,000 med errors occur every year....I think it is higher then this.
Let's offer some support----
What is your worst med error?
Have you witnessed a med error by a doc?
I posted this in the general discussion--this is my nightmare...
I too have made errors. In 15 years I have made 2 significant (sp) errors that were potentially deadly. The first actually ended up benifitting the patient. I work ED and was fighting with the internal med team to intubate and sedate a very sick septic pt, they did not want to as he was 'not an ICU candidate', I got mad and finally said "you have got to at least sedate him--he is going to fall off the bed and he is ripping his lines out." They ordered 20mg of Valium (hx of etoh abuse) I thought they meant IV, they meant IM. I gave 10mg, waited 10 min and gave the 2nd 10 mg. As the team rounded on the pt he resp arrested. The attending was not pleased, they were forced to intubate, the ICU guy was livid, but the man got appropriate care, I just got the greif.
The second was not so good for the pt. A very anxious mother and daughter team, the Mom had a picc line for chemo--they were harrassing us all day for minor stuff, and I cannot even remember why she was there, "she is near someone coughing", "the sheets have a spot", "was this room cleaned properly", etc..... Mom finally got her get out of the ED card and I went to D/C her picc and flush her line so she could go.
I grabbed the heparin and a 10cc syringe and ran in so I could get rid of these pains in the )&*&(. As I slammed the syringe full of fluid in, I realized what I had just done---flushed the line with 10cc of 10,000u/ml of heparin. I was freaked.
The doc on was surpizingly wonderful--he has a reputation of not caring about anyone but himself, but let me tell you, he sure went to bat for me. He called hemetology to find out if we should give the antidote for heparin (that my brain cells are blanking on right now cause we never use it) and they said no, just moniter as there are too many side effects. I went to the Mom and Daughter team and explained everything and apologized. Lots of tears, and the daughter went nuts--unitl she realized Mom was now going to be admitted for observation. I followed the pt, and her clotting times did not come down for over 5 days--they should have been down the next day!!! I lived on egg shells!!
Mistakes happen, we are busy ----WE ARE HUMAN!!!!!!!!!!!!! Is your work supporting you, are your collgues and manager behind you? What about the docs? Is there an internal support phone line?
You are right we need a support group--if either of those pts died because of me I would be freaked out, but looking back on my 2 near misses I realize there are system errors that also occured and my shoulders need not be that broad. NOR DO YOURS. You are a good nurse, and as everyone else has said--think of the good you have done.
Could you start a thread "What is you worst med error?" some version of a support group? it is all annonymous right? Are we not supposed to be learning rather then blaming?
If anyone can offer support here is the link for Julie who started the main thread...
this is a good one... it is about supporting with honesty, not hiding errors and learning from them.