Infusion pumps are medical devices used in hospitals to deliver IV nutrients, medications, antibiotics, chemotherapy drugs, pain medicine, insulin, patient-controlled analgesia, or PCA. The pumps are designed to administer a certain amount of fluid or medicine over a period of time. Even though they are intended to make patients more comfortable, pump malfunction or medication errors can occur.
If an IV pump malfunctions, it can cause a patient to receive too little or too much medication leading to serious injury or even death. There were more than 56,000 reports of infusion pump errors and 500 deaths reported to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration over a five-year period. The adverse events that were reported were due to nursing errors, design defects or pump failures. Improper programming, battery failure, faulty alarms, broken pieces and conversion of pounds to kilograms have also contributed to patient injuries or deaths. As a result, the FDA launched the Infusion Pump Improvement Initiative to help improve infusion pump safety, device improvements, user training and awareness.
If a medication error or pump failure caused you or someone close to you to become injured, you may want to contact a law firm with experienced medical malpractice lawyers or defective medical device attorneys for a free consultation and additional information.