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Improved patient safety goal of new IV pumps

There can be many things that cause a medical error. Surgical mistakes, items left in a patient’s body, incorrect or even completely missed diagnoses, a medication dosage mistake and more can all turn a Pennsylvania patient into a victim. In the world of medication errors, problems can occur at many points. Injuries to patients can be traced back to the actions of a negligent pharmacist, a dangerous combination of prescriptions or a doctor prescribing the wrong drug.

Another problem with medications that can result in serious injury to patients is inappropriate flow or administration of intra-venous drugs in the hospital. A news report recently wrote about a new type of medication pump designed to leverage smart technology. These smart pumps may offer new hope against such errors. The pumps are linked electronically to a hospital’s drug library and automatically calculate the drug flow rate, eliminating the need for manual programming by a nurse.

As drug library profiles are updated, so too can the pumps’ information—by the press of a single button. If a nurse accidentally enters the wrong information when setting up the pump, a warning message is displayed as the pump knows the contents of the bag and can preventatively identify information that could lead to errors. Hospital staff can also lock the pumps to prevent any tampering with the IVs.

Technology may be able to help provide options for the medical community to keep patients safer. However, it may not be able to erase all error opportunities, making the need for legal help still important if a medical mistake does take place.

Source:, “Smart infusion pumps help prevent medication errors,” Dolly A. Butz, March 22, 2014

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