need perspective- rapid administration of potassium - page 2
I am an experienced nurse and need feedback on a med error I caught. I received a patient who had a potassium level of 2.3, in checking the pump settings during handoff, I saw that the... Read More
Jan 11, '13Our policy is K at 10mEq per hour MAX. I've given up to 60 mEqs IV before over 6 hours, but we absolutely do not go over 10mEq/hr. And I work a hem/onc unit. We have central lines everywhere!
Jan 11, '13That is way too fast. Potassium should be given at a MAX of 10mEq/hr through a peripheral line and 20mEq/hr through a central line. PO administration is actually the best way to give potassium, unless of course that route is contraindicated.
Jan 11, '13Check the administration guidelines in your facility and talk with the pharmacist. I would seriously doubt that that is an acceptable choice for admin rate! I would also take what you learned and educate your peer, either using the unit educator or manager as an intermediary or individually as the situation calls for.
Jan 12, '13The nurse that gave me report was there when I caught the error, it was a mistake, she felt awful about it.
Jan 19, '13Quote from VegRNDo your pumps have a drug library? This high rate would have been caught by the pump if you guys had access to smart ones with programmed drugs. For example, when I give K, I find potassium in my drug library and select the concentration I'm hanging. I can adjust the mEq/hr rate of the infusion, but the pump will alarm "high rate" and ask me to override in order to run. So, if I make a mistake while hitting the buttons, I have a safety mechanism in place.The nurse that gave me report was there when I caught the error, it was a mistake, she felt awful about it.
Since this was an actual med error, I'm sure you filled out an incident report. When your facility gets enough of these, they will finally invest in smart pumps.
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