Fall ill at your peril this Christmas

With the Christmas season upon us, this is not a time to be falling ill and needing hospital treatment. Thanks to the Keogh report we are constantly reminded by the newspapers that many hospitals are failing to reach an acceptable standard of care.

Should you find yourself unlucky enough to be needing hospital treatment, there is the worrying trend that in many hospitals doctors and nurses are not trained to use intravenous drips properly, which could lead to increased cases of medical negligence. Given that this form of delivering medication to thousands of patients every day is widespread, it raises the question ‘what is the problem with an IV drip?’

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has had to issue new guidelines on how to administer an intravenous drip in the correct way as reports uncover a worrying trend that in many hospitals doctors and nurses are not trained to use intravenous drips properly.

Some health experts suggest that around 500 patient deaths every year could be attributable to a lack of knowledge around using intravenous drips correctly. It is thought that as many as one in five people have experienced difficulties as a result of being given excessive amounts of fluid, or on the other hand, too little fluid through an IV drip. Such inaccuracies in delivering this type of medication can be fatal and lead to pneumonia and kidney failure.

NICE has warned that although delivering IV fluids is one of the most frequently prescribed items in hospitals, many professionals do not actually know what they are doing. Statistics reveal that those patients who received incorrect amounts of fluid before surgery died within 30 days of their treatment.

The recommendation from NICE to eradicate this problem is to appoint an IV champion in each hospital and that each patient has an IV fluid management plan. It is hoped that this solution will ensure that all doctors and nurses receive the appropriate education to administer medication intravenously correctly and safely.

If you have suffered due to an incorrect dosage of medication whilst staying in hospital, then contact Blackwater Law for professional legal advice on your compensation rights.