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Safety when giving insulin in hospital

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Ellen, Oct 4, 2010.

  1. Ellen

    Ellen Senior Member

    Oct 22, 2005
  2. Flutterby

    Flutterby Approved members

    Nov 11, 2006
    Insulin is one of the 'drugs' that must be double checked by another nurse when administered in a hospital setting.
  3. funnygrl

    funnygrl Approved members

    Nov 2, 2005
    This always cracks me up, because if I'm going to give someone 2 units of subq regular insulin, I have to have another nurse check it. If I'm setting up a continuous drip of insulin, I start with a bag with 100 units in it, and I can set it up, run it, and titrate it without another nurse ever checking what I'm doing. The same goes for many other drugs we give continuous drips of, many that are far more dangerous than insulin. Insulin you can give someone glucose, and they'll come right out of an "overdose." If someone is underdosed, it would take a long time before causing serious harm. I could kill someone instantly running a high concentration of sodium chloride too quickly, but alas, no one needs to double check that for me either. Our only barrier against errors there is to have pharmacy put a sticker on the bag reminding me to "triple check" the solution before beginning the infusion.
  4. deafmack

    deafmack Approved members

    Sep 22, 2006
    Thanks for sharing this, Ellen. And what about using the wrong glucose meter on a person on kidney dialysis and ending up with a false high. That is scary, too. One ml=100 units of insulin, but if one is using U-500 insulin then one m1=500 units of insulin. Things can get scary indeed.
  5. kim5798

    kim5798 Approved members

    May 7, 2009
    Years ago my Aunt who is type 1 had surgery....she was still groggy from anesthesia...and nurse gave her insulin dose for lunch. Then change of shift happened. Turned out first nurse did not chart the dose given for lunch, so next nurse gave dose again. My Aunt was out of it...but with it enough to question the second nurse, who she told to get me some juice before I am low & my husband starts asking questions, for your sake!! I think these days if you are a patient in a hospital, you need an advocate to be there watching what is being done/given, especially in patients with type 1.
  6. Ali

    Ali Approved members

    Aug 1, 2006
    This is critical. For what it is worth... over 20 years ago after giving birth to my first child a nurse came in to give me a shot of insulin. I am pretty outspoken so I asked her what dosages she was giving me, they sounded way off but I had just given birth so was a bit unsure, I said ahh that sounds really off pleases recheck...without any arguing she called the Endo rechecked and yes someone had written down very very wrong numbers. She thanked me for checking, the Endo when he came by thanked me and everyone lived happily ever after. I have a few more hospital horror stories re diabetes care but that one taught me to check any medication being given or to make sure a loved one was around to check. :cwds:ali
  7. dqmomof3

    dqmomof3 Approved members

    Dec 29, 2007
    When my daughter had eye surgery last week, MUSC allowed her to keep her pump ON during the surgery. I was so relieved that they wouldn't be doing anything with insulin!
  8. RosebudMama

    RosebudMama Approved members

    Jul 19, 2008
    I'm a R.N. and ALWAYS have to double check the patient, the order, the dose, the vial, and the amount in the syringe with a second R.N.

    It always baffled me that I was required to implement all of these safety measures at work, yet was expected to leave my child at school under the supervision of lay people who have no idea what insulin is.

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