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Medication errors more likely when nurses interrupted by calls

| Dec 30, 2019 | Medical Malpractice |

Texas residents may be interested in learning about a study that was published in JAMA Pediatrics that showed that receiving calls on work phones may play a role in pediatric nurses making mistakes when administering medication. However, receiving and sending text messages were not associated with medication administration errors.

Information was collected from the beginning of August 2016 to the end of September 2017 from a pediatric ICU at a children’s hospital. The collected data involved over 3,300 patients receiving medication from 257 nurses. The researchers were closely looking at how incoming phone calls or text messages during the 10 minutes that led up to the administration of medication would affect their accuracy in providing the right medication. These calls and text messages were not received on personal mobile phones but on phones that were given to the nurses by the institution.

The total number of medication administration attempts was around 238,500. When nurses did not receive phone calls during the 10 minutes leading up to administering medication, the rate of error was 3.1 percent. When they were interrupted by calls, the rate of error was 3.7 percent.

When looking at the information that was collected, experience on the part of the nurse played a role in avoiding medication errors. The odds of making a mistake when receiving a phone call was lower for nurses who had more than six months of experience.

While the vast majority of medical professionals offer the best care to patients, errors do occur. An individual who has been the victim of medical malpractice or medication errors may want to discuss their situation with an attorney. The attorney might provide information about getting compensation for injuries and use evidence to prove a medical professional was at fault. The attorney may even represent a client in court if it becomes necessary.