Medication Errors Led to Disastrous Outcomes
Julie Thao was licensed by the Wisconsin board of nursing as a nurse and worked in the birth unit at St Mary’s Hospital in Madison. She made a medication error when delivering care to a patient who was scheduled for labor induction by administering the wrong medication that was not prescribed. The 16-year-old Jasmine Gant delivered through cesarean section after suffering a cardiac attack and could not be rescued and this led to Thao losing her job and being charged with patient negligence (Treiber & Jones 2018). Kimberly Hiatt was also a registered nurse who did a medication error by administering an overdose of calcium chloride to an infant who had a heart problem. The baby died after 5 days and this led Kimberly to lose her job and could be hired anywhere else and this made her to commit suicide.
According to the two cases, healthcare professionals should learn that when a medication error occurs can have serious effects on patients’ health and well-being. Healthcare professionals should be very careful when administering medications to their patients to avoid such incidents (Cadwell & Hohenhaus 2011). They should avoid situations that inhibit delivery of safe and high-quality patient care such as attending to patients when they are fatigued to avoid making harmful errors.
The principle of beneficence and virtue of benevolence could have been applied by ensuring that the patients were given the correct medication according to their prescription to avoid hurting them. The hospital administration acted legally by making the nurses to be accountable for their actions, but the decisions were not ethical, it was not established that the nurses had the moral intent to make the errors.
Colleagues could have given them support by finding a quiet environment for them and let them relax. After creating a quiet place for them they would get an opportunity to ask questions which are open-ended and be more informed about the errors. Also, they could have given moral support through a show of compassion, sympathy, love, and truth-telling to help them cope with the impact of causing injury and death respectively.
Telling others how you feel about the situation can be very helpful to navigate through the whole process. Seeking support from family and friends who understands your pain can assist to go through the process (Ozeke et al., 2019). If one struggles with emotions elicited by the event, it is necessary to seek help from a health care professional to assist in developing coping skills. Also, seeking help is not a sign of weakness but it is a sign of strength.
Cadwell, S. M., & Hohenhaus, S. M. (2011). Medication errors and secondary victims. Journal of Emergency Nursing, 37(6), 562-563. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jen.2011.07.010
Ozeke, O., Ozeke, V., Coskun, O., & Budakoglu, I. I. (2019). Second victims in health care: current perspectives. Advances in Medical Education and Practice, 10, 593. https://doi.org/10.2147/AMEP.S185912
Treiber, L. A., & Jones, J. H. (2018). Making an infusion error. Journal of Infusion Nursing, 41(3), 156-163. https://doi.org/10.1097/NAN.0000000000000273
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