North Carolina residents who work in the health care industry may be interested to know that using prefilled syringes instead of vials can reduce costs and increase patient safety. This is according to studies and current hospital practices.
Anesthesiologists at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai have started to use prefilled syringes for some of their operating room medications in the effort to reduce the occurrences of errors and to lower drug spending. Anesthesiology presents patient safety issues as it is the only medical specialty in which the same healthcare professional writes the prescription for a drug as well as obtains and administers the drug without any checks conducted during the process.
When the rapid pace of the operating room is coupled with the absence of safety checks, patients can be exposed to the risk of being given the wrong medication or the wrong dosage. According to a study that evaluated medication administration during 277 surgeries, there was a 5.3 percent rate of medication error in the operating room. Most of the errors that were made were preventable.
According to a professor at Mount Sinai, having medication that has been pre-drawn in pre-labeled syringes aids in lowering the chances that a medication error will occur. It also aids in saving time during emergency surgery situations. Hospital pharmacies can assist by drawing up medications in advance. However, if the drugs are administered for the specific medical situation for which they were intended, they are thrown away, adding to waste.
Medication error is a common form of hospital negligence. Individuals whose medical conditions have been worsened because they received the wrong medicine, the wrong dosage, or their medicine was administered incorrectly, should contact a medical malpractice attorney to see what recourse they might have.