Intravenous therapy, or IV for short, is the process of administering medication directly into a patient’s vein. Given the delicate nature of this type of treatment, it is understandable that IV’s can be considered one of the riskiest ways to administer medication. For that reason, IV errors can have devastating consequences including life altering injuries and even death.
What causes IV errors? Given that most IV’s are administered to patients during a stay in the hospital, the hectic and urgent nature of hospital and ER environments alone can be a recipe for disaster. Couple this with the fact that many hospitals in the US are critically understaffed and the situation becomes even direr. And sometimes IV errors are the result of simple mistakes on the part of a careless doctor or nurse.
Whatever the reason, IV errors can present themselves in any number of scenarios, such as:
- Wrong drug administered
- Improper timing of administration (too early or too late)
- Defective IV pump or valve
- Wrong dosage amount (too much or not enough)
- Improper injection of drug
- Dangerous combination of drugs administered (incompatible)
Any of these things can cause severe injury to a patient, including death. Victims of IV errors have the right to seek justice by filing a medical malpractice lawsuit against the guilty parties.