ADVICE, P.R.N.: Getting pumped for safety

May 2005 
Volume 35  Number 5
Pages 14 - 14
  PDF Version Available!

© 2005 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc. Volume 35(5)             May 2005             p 14 Getting pumped for safety [ADVICE, P.R.N.: BLOOD TRANSFUSIONS]

At the hospital where I work, nurses who administer blood in the ICU use infusion pumps and specially designed blood administration tubing. Although this equipment makes blood administration safer, it's not available to those of us who work in the medical/surgical unit, where we usually give transfusions without a pump. My manager won't say why, but I suspect it's a cost issue .

Sometimes I administer blood to patients with heart failure. Suppose I don't use a pump and a patient experiences fluid overload because the transfusion ran too fast. Would I be liable for failing to use safer equipment that's available elsewhere in the hospital? —R.C., KY.

Regardless of the equipment you're using, you're responsible ...

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