Big Med Error.

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CrunchRN, ADN, RN

4,458 Posts

Specializes in Clinical Research, Outpt Women's Health. Has 25 years experience.

You are human. You did everything right following it. Just forgive yourself and look at what led up to it. If I was the family I would support you because of the way you handled it.

Specializes in BSN, RN, CVRN-BC. Has 27 years experience.
On 10/2/2021 at 7:26 PM, Pepper The Cat said:

Well, it happened to me today.

I made a huge med error and I am just sick over it. I gave my pt meant for another pt. 4 antihypertensives, a diabetic med. Pts blood pressure started to drop over the morning and we ended up transferring to ICU for closer monitoring. I have been told she is OK but I am still just sick. I am actually taking a mental health day tomorrow because of this.

I have to say everyone was wonderfully supportive, including the physician.

You are allowed to be human.  You didn't try to cover up your mistake.  You did what was in your patient's best interest.  Your patient will be OK.  Take a deep breath and let it out slowly.  

Once that is done it is time to address why the mistake happened.  Were you distracted?  Were the patient names so close that it contributed to the mistake?  Were you in too much of a hurry?  Did the work load contribute to the error?  Too busy or not busy enough can bought be major issues.  Treat this process as a root cause analysis not a blame game.  Whatever you come up with, make a plan to avoid it from happening in the future.  Once is a mistake, but twice is a pattern.  You want to avoid such mistakes becoming a pattern.

You've got this!  Good luck!

Specializes in ER, Occupational Health. Has 16 years experience.
On 10/9/2021 at 9:08 PM, Pepper The Cat said:

Went through the debrief a few days ago. While the pt/family were upset about the error the fact that we were so transparent about the error really helped. Esp since I told the pt fright away.

My manager actually said I should a lot of courage telling the pt right away.

I still feel sick about it though.

You feel sick about it because you are a good nurse and are more concerned with doing what's right for you patients than protecting yourself from criticism.  I'd be concerned if you didn't feel that way.  I'm really happy that you have supportive people around you to help you through.  

Specializes in Ortho, CMSRN. Has 9 years experience.

I am so sorry, I can't even imagine! This is one of the reasons I was hesitant to be a nurse in the first place. Scanning systems tend to significantly decrease the chance that this could happen and are SO needed EVERYWHERE. I hope the patient is OK and that you can come to peace with this. 

SmilingBluEyes

20,964 Posts

Specializes in Specializes in L/D, newborn, GYN, LTC, Dialysis. Has 26 years experience.

I am so sorry. Your honesty says to me a lot about your integrity which I respect enormously. Now, dust off and know you won't make THAT mistake again. Hang in there.

guest1143647

163 Posts

Specializes in Peds. Has 19 years experience.

At least everyone was supportive about it. You have a great team. I remember I made an error and the doctor and other nurses  practically cursed at me. It was a LTC. This was in 2004, when we still had paper charting. It was two roommates. “A”bed received “B”bed medication. The mix up happened due to the tattered MAR. A beds medication mar was under “B” tab.  A didn’t even have a wristband on either.
Thank goodness healthcare has come a long way.