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The Eighth Leading Cause of Death in the U.S. is...

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by Anxious Patient Anxious Patient (Member) Member

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You are reading page 3 of The Eighth Leading Cause of Death in the U.S. is.... If you want to start from the beginning Go to First Page.

Halinja is a BSN, RN and specializes in L&D, PACU.

453 Posts; 9,721 Profile Views

I'm sorry, I do know that med errors occur, and that it is a dangerous problem.

However, I have trouble with the article. The article started out with an unsupported statement that it is the 8th leading cause of death. No attribution or documentation as to where this statistic was published. I don't think it would be born out by any research.

Secondly, the first numbered statement (again, unattributed) stated there were 7,000 deaths a year due to med errors. The third statement, attributed broadly to the FDA says 1 death per day due to med errors. Um, that is 365, not 7000. So right there is a very large discrepancy in statistics.

While I do believe we should do everything possible to reduce med errors, I don't find this a credible source of information. I sincerely doubt that med errors are even in the top 10 causes. I could be wrong!

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56 Posts; 2,204 Profile Views

Re: The Eighth Leading Cause of Death in the U.S. is…

My guess before bringing up the article was "greedy medical insurance companies"...but no, should have figured that buck would have been passed to those who are forced to work within the framework of their ineptitude.

I think the bottom line is greed could be blamed through semantics.

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3rdcareerRN specializes in Mostly: Occup Health; ER; Informatics.

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The article started out with an unsupported statement that it is the 8th leading cause of death. No attribution or documentation as to where this statistic was published. ...

Secondly, the first numbered statement (again, unattributed) stated there were 7,000 deaths a year due to med errors. The third statement, attributed broadly to the FDA says 1 death per day due to med errors. Um, that is 365, not 7000. So right there is a very large discrepancy in statistics. ...

and

Nurses intercept 86% of all medication errors made by physicians, pharmacists, and others[] prior to the provision of those medications to patients-Lucian Leape ET all, JAMA, 1995 ...

A similar 6-month study of all adverse drug events in two tertiary care hospitals found that 38 percent occurred during the administration of the drug by nursing staff. ) (Pepper, 1995). 62% of errors were not nurse related.

National Academy of Sciences, Keeping Patients Safe: Transforming the Work Environment of Nurses

These are some prime examples of an RN (BSN) performing critical thinking. Hurrah! Now that is the type of thinking and posting that will improve our profession and our patients' lives.

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pink345 has 15 years experience and specializes in peri-operative, rheumatology, renal.

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i think the reasons nurses do make errors administering medications to patients, is

1. not being conditioned during their clinical practise to check the order with the label 3 times and also the patient's id bracelet: right med, right dose, right route, right patient!

2. ambiguous labeling on products that need to be diluted, using calculations incorrectly.

3. being too rushed, distracted and tired.

original post from: lamazeteacher

i have to agree with lamazeteacher. i think these three reasons are part of the problem the majority of the time when it's a nursing error.

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diane227 has 32 years experience as a LPN, RN and specializes in Management, Emergency, Psych, Med Surg.

1,941 Posts; 12,103 Profile Views

Any medication error usually occurs as a chain event. MAR incorrect, correct med not in Pyxis, wrong med in the wrong drawer, IV mixed with the wrong medication, unclear orders, hectic floor with multiple patients requiring complex medication passes. Nurses cannot accept blame for all errors. However, as we are the end of the chain, we are the last check on the route. I am VERY careful about IV bags mixed by the pharmacy. I never trust that what they say is in the bag is what is really in there. Also, I NEVER give a medication drawn up by another nurse.

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56 Posts; 2,204 Profile Views

Any medication error usually occurs as a chain event. MAR incorrect, correct med not in Pyxis, wrong med in the wrong drawer, IV mixed with the wrong medication, unclear orders, hectic floor with multiple patients requiring complex medication passes. Nurses cannot accept blame for all errors. However, as we are the end of the chain, we are the last check on the route. I am VERY careful about IV bags mixed by the pharmacy. I never trust that what they say is in the bag is what is really in there. Also, I NEVER give a medication drawn up by another nurse.

What do you do when the IV is mixed by the pharmacy then? lab time to make sure what's in the bag is what they say is what's in the bag before the patient gets the drip? with 20 other patients waiting on thier drips?

compartmentalization serves a purpose for those who set up that system, keep the responsibilities seperate from the outcome and no one takes the blame, like a minefield for a malpractice lawyer...what fails the patient these days is the bureaucracy both sides play out against one another to cover their own asses first and foremost and not what is in the best interest of the patient, once this cycle is broken (and better pharmacological agents are introduced) we'll see an improvement in this statistic...

with that in mind...some people are sadly beyond saving and become a statistic of medical procedure when in fact the root causation is self imposed from lifestyle and circumstance...was this a control factor in their analysis?

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wanderlust99 has 10 years experience and specializes in ICU/PACU.

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If every hospital used the scanning med method where we scan the labels, I bet this number would decrease. Studies have shown this technology decreases med errors, but hopsitals can't seem to find the money to spend on this until a huge med error happens and they are forced to.

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630 Posts; 5,086 Profile Views

The first comment under the article is very interesting ... points to the validity of the article in the first place and posts stats from CDC... I think I read everyone's comment so if this was already listed I apologize.. http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/FASTATS/lcod.htm

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meluhn has 16 years experience and specializes in acute rehab, med surg, LTC, peds, home c.

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What's abominable is a profession causing the 8th most deaths arguing about it at all...

Ya might want to remove the mite from your own eye.

Medication aides have documented less errors. Obviously education isn't necessary to pass meds or nurses wouldn't be screwing it up...

;)

Medication aides have less documented errors because they probably wouldn't own up to them. I have caught them throwing out meds in the garbage when they find it too hard to track the pt down. Many nurses don't take meds seriously enough as it is, why allow people with less training and less to lose to do the job? I agree with previous poster, they are a bad idea.

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Jolie is a BSN and specializes in Maternal - Child Health.

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If every hospital used the scanning med method where we scan the labels, I bet this number would decrease. Studies have shown this technology decreases med errors, but hopsitals can't seem to find the money to spend on this until a huge med error happens and they are forced to.

As with any system of checks, bar code scanning has the potential to improve patient safety. But also like any system of checks, it can also be "gotten around," (quite easily) which nurses are tempted to do when they are disciplined for late meds, despite the fact that the number of scanners is inadequate for the number of patients, certain items lack bar codes, etc.

The real solution to med errors is not adding fallible technology. It is adequate education of everyone in the chain (administrators, physicians, pharmacists, techs, nurses), adequate staffing, a culture of quality and a system of non-punitive reporting of errors.

I would venture to guess that each and every one of us posting here has knowledge of an error that went unreported due to likelihood of diciplinary action. That's dozens, if not hundreds or thousands of lost opportunities to address deficiencies and correct them before the next error occurs.

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2,098 Posts; 16,180 Profile Views

Medication aides have less documented errors because they probably wouldn't own up to them. I have caught them throwing out meds in the garbage when they find it too hard to track the pt down. Many nurses don't take meds seriously enough as it is, why allow people with less training and less to lose to do the job? I agree with previous poster, they are a bad idea.

Nonsensical argument...

We've caught RNs and LPNs giving patient saline whilst stealing their morphine. ;)

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herring_RN specializes in Critical care, tele, Medical-Surgical.

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Nonsensical argument...

We've caught RNs and LPNs giving patient saline whilst stealing their morphine. ;)

Don't they then lose their license?

In California they can ask for diversion. Then they are treated. After two years they can request their license be reinstated.

According to my step son in AA nurses have the fewest relapses of any group. I worked with a nurse who was able to practice but not have any access to narcotics. No keys, no Pyxis code.

She was aleays helping others so they would administer narcotics and hypnostics to patients.

The FACT is that nurses intercept more physician and pharmacy errors before the drug is administered.

The doc writing the order on the wrong chart, ordering a med the patient is allergic to, or is contradindicated by the patients condition, the pharmacy putting the bar code on the wrong unit dose (One sent Prozac when it should have been Prilosec).

And nurses ASSESS the patients response to medication. NURSES intervene to prevent potentially fatal effects of a second or third dose.

Techs and nurses both should follow the five rights. But only the nurse knows when to intervene. And has the authority to call the doctor. Or follow standardized procedures to treat anaphlaxis or other adverse reaction.

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