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Medication Errors

Case Study, Case Studies, Ethical Issues, Ethical Situation

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Medication Problem

Medical errors cost lives, and they cost health care agencies valuable resources. Nurses tend to be confused about their very own ethical and also legal commitments, especially with a complex, constantly changing, global health care marketplace. Couple of medical mistakes are entirely straightforward. The majority of incidents involve multiple actors and numerous stakeholders. Nurses are being significantly challenged to combine deontological with utilitarian moral viewpoints, an endeavor that is as difficult as the work of healthcare itself.

The Case

(from Hurley Berghahn, 2010)

A nurse with of sixteen years of encounter was functioning her third shift in 24 hours, certainly one of which was a double move. She put in last night sleeping in the hospital. Currently, the nurse was caring for two patients. A single was a pregnant teenager confessed for labor induction. The individual tested confident for streptococcus, and a medical homeowner wrote a great order pertaining to penicillin.

To arrange for the patient’s method, the registered nurse removed the medications bought for this sufferer. Although the anesthesiologist had not however ordered the epidural anesthetic, the doctor considered this to be portion of the labor regimen and got that ready to demonstrate patient when it was the perfect time to give her the recommendations. The health professional left the bag of epidural pertaining to the patient to see, and also the tote of penicillin ready by the patient’s foundation. No one around the health care crew, including the doctor, had used the bar code system. As a result, a different registered nurse administered the epidural anesthetic intravenously rather than the antibiotic.

The sufferer died, however the baby was saved by means of an emergency caesarian section. When the nurse learned that an internal research had been launched, she resigned. Soon afterwards, the attorney general recorded criminal fees against the registered nurse. She was charged with felony maltreatment of a individual causing superb bodily harm. The maximum phrase would have recently been ten years in prison.

Personal Values

This case raises several ethical problems relevant for any health care personnel and managers. As Erlen (2001) claims, “Nurses happen to be taught techniques so that they are much less likely to make mistakes. Yet healthcare professionals do make problems, ” (p. 82). Mistakes are not in and of themselves ethical problems. However , how you can address and remedy these errors happen to be ethical problems. There are ethics related to recruiting, and how to handle nurses like the one in this case. Furthermore, there are also moral issues on the line when it comes to medical center procedure, this is why administrators bear the brunt of responsibility for many medical errors. The nurses tend to be the ones who carry the blame intended for medical errors. However , “changing the health proper care system will assist nurses to promote patient wellbeing, lessen the chance of damage, and reduce the probability of medication problems occurring, ” (Erlen, 2001). If the trouble of medical error can be systemic, then administrators ought to recognize what they can carry out to eliminate or at least reduce the chance of error.

Ethical Viewpoints

Harm to patients is the primary ethical infraction with medical errors which might be preventable. Yet , many medical errors are related much less to a nurse’s negligence and more to sketchy organizational traditions in a profit-driven health care program. A profit-driven health care program itself is usually ethically inappropriate, as it is not possible to benefit both shareholders and sufferers. The current healthcare model is dependent on strict functional ethics. For instance , inducing labor in pregnant state is

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