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We place immense amounts of trust in the anesthesiologist to ensure we do not feel any pain during an operation. To ensure this precision, an anesthesiologist is required to undergo years of training after medical school. However, a recent study suggests that the most simple of mistakes may be both the easiest to avoid and the deadliest.

The study found something as simple as the design of IV labels can greatly increase the risk of an anesthesia error. Recently published in the Journal of Patient Safety, the study involved 96 anesthesiology and nurse anesthetist students. The students were asked to complete a simulated surgical procedure. The procedure was based on a real life scenario where an IV bag of lidocaine (a pain reliever) was almost used on a patient instead of hetastarch (which prevents shock from blood loss). Fortunately, this potentially fatal mistake was caught in time.

Two rounds of surgical procedures were performed for the study. During each round, a surgical cart was used containing IV bottles of lidocaine and hetastarch improperly stocked alongside one another in the same drawer. During the first round, IV bags with standard labeling were used. The text on this labeling is printed on a transparent background, which makes the text difficult to read, and makes it more difficult to distinguish between IV’s containing different medicines.

However, for the second round, bags with enhanced IV labels were used. The labeling on the second round of bags was printed on a dark, opaque background that made the text stand out more. The simple change in label design had a significant effect on the performance of the students. The two drugs with the standard labeling used in the first round was correctly chosen by students only 40 percent of the time. However, during the second round, students were 2.6 times more likely to choose the correct drug because of the enhanced labeling.

Researchers hope the study’s findings will persuade drug manufacturers to reconsider the design of their labels which, in turn, would lead to easier-to-read labeling and fewer avoidable errors.

Drug errors are only one of many types of anesthesia errors that can occur during an operation. When anesthesia errors occur, the result is often tragic. Heart attacks, brain damage, strokes, or coma can often afflict those that survive the error. Unfortunately, for others, the error is fatal. While we are fortunate to have quality healthcare in Southwest Missouri, errors do occur.

If you suspect the presence of an error during a surgical procedure involving yourself or a loved one, it is important to consult an experienced Personal Injury and Medical Malpractice attorney as soon as possible. Vital evidence of medical negligence can be lost by delay. An attorney at JoplinLawyers.com in Joplin, Missouri can work with experts to determine the presence of an actionable error and work to seek appropriate compensation for your losses
Researchers hope the study’s findings will persuade drug manufacturers to reconsider the design of their labels which, in turn, would lead to easier-to-read labeling and fewer avoidable errors.

Drug errors are only one of many types of anesthesia errors that can occur during an operation. When anesthesia errors occur, the result is often tragic. Heart attacks, brain damage, strokes, or coma can often afflict those that survive the error. Unfortunately, for others, the error is fatal. While we are fortunate to have quality healthcare in Southwest Missouri, errors do occur.

If you suspect the presence of an error during a surgical procedure involving yourself or a loved one, it is important to consult an experienced Personal Injury and Medical Malpractice attorney as soon as possible. Vital evidence of medical negligence can be lost by delay. An attorney at JoplinLawyers.com in Joplin, Missouri can work with experts to determine the presence of an actionable error and work to seek appropriate compensation for your losses.

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