September 2010 
Volume 40  Number 9
Pages 9 - 10
  PDF Version Available!

My facility follows statewide standards for color-coded wristbands to prevent confusion and improve safety when patients are transferred within or between facilities. But there seems to be no consensus about how to handle multiple wristbands. Some patients have several color-coded wristbands in addition to their black-and-white hospital ID band—for example, a red band for allergy and a yellow band for fall risk. If all the bands weren't placed on the same arm, it's easy to overlook one.—J.D., MINN.Our consultant recommends placing all wristbands on the same arm, but she cautions that best practice still requires looking at both arms to be sure. And keep in mind that in some cases, you may find bands on an ankle instead of a wrist—for example, if bands would interfere with I.V. lines or if the patient removes bands placed on the arm.Cizek KE, Estrada N, Allen J, Elsholz T. A crystal-clear call to standardize color-coded wristbands. Nursing. 2010;40(5):57–59.Dangerous Confusion with color-coded wristbands. FDA Patient Safety News: Show #52; 2006. .I'm a new graduate working in a community hospital. My patient, who was receiving a heparin infusion, also needed I.V. fluids and an I.V. antibiotic. I checked the compatibility of the medications and fluids and found they were compatible. Rather than starting another peripheral venous access, I infused them via the same I.V. access, ensuring that each infused at the prescribed rate.The next day, I found that an event report had been filed for my action. My manager said, "We just don't do that here."All the references I checked said the drugs and fluids were compatible, the pharmacist confirmed that they're compatible, and the facility has no nursing policy either way. No one can explain what's unsafe about what I did. Is there an evidence-based reason for starting a second venous access, or should

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