The Five Rights: Avoiding Prescription Drug Errors

When we rely on the care of others, we put our lives in others’ hands. The health care we receive from doctors and nurses must be the best they can do, because we are at our most vulnerable. When prescription drug errors happen in Virginia the consequences can be severe—even fatal.

Avoiding Prescription Drug Errors

To avoid prescription drug errors, nurses are taught to abide by the Five Rights:

  1. Right client. A nurse must confirm the patient’s identity by checking his ID bracelet, room number, and asking the patient to verify his own name.
  2. Right drug. Nurses must check that the prescription order is complete and legible, and confirm instructions with the medication three separate times.
  3. Right dose. This includes calculating a specific dose and checking reference materials for confirmation. Especially hazardous drugs must be consulted with another nurse before dosing.
  4. Right time. Nurses must pay attention to events that may conflict with dosage, such as mealtimes and scheduled procedures, and ensure even distribution of medication.
  5. Right route. Since drugs can be administered several different ways, nurses are responsible for distinguishing between inhalant, oral, and injectable doses, and are required to make sure oral doses have been safely swallowed.
Since a single medication error can have catastrophic results, it is vital that these steps be taken before any medication is administered. If you or someone you love was injured because proper drug handling procedures were not followed, we may be able to help you receive compensation.

Contact the attorneys at Shevlin Smith by calling (703) 721-4233 today for information on your Virginia medical malpractice case.

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