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Prefilled syringes could prevent medication errors

Anesthesiologists in Oregon may be less likely to make medication mistakes if they use prefilled syringes. Some hospitals are switching to prefilled syringes as a way to save time, money and improve patient safety. At Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, for example, prefilled ephedrine and neostigmine syringes are used.

Many people aren't aware of how much responsibility anesthesiologists have, especially when a patient requires emergency surgery. Anesthesiologists do many vital tasks without safety checks from other medical professionals. Unless they work at a hospital that buys prefilled syringes, an anesthesiologist will be responsible for prescribing a drug, procuring the drug, putting the drug into a syringe and administering it to the patient.

A professor of anesthesiology from Mount Sinai said that having medications predrawn and prelabeled could greatly reduce the chances that anesthesiologists will make serious mistakes. A study of operating room medication administrations found that most of the medication mistakes that occur in the operating room are preventable errors. Among the 277 surgeries that were analyzed in the study, the medication error rate was 5.3 percent. Some of the most common medication errors that happen in the OR include wrong medication and wrong dosage.

If a patient was seriously injured during emergency surgery, it could take time for the patient to understand what happened. In many cases, injured patients won't know what happened during their surgeries until their medical histories are investigated. An attorney may review the circumstances in order to see if what took place constituted compensable hospital negligence.

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