BACKGROUND: Both overmedication and undermedication can be potentially life threatening. If the actual volume of a 100-mL intravenous bag used to mix dopamine solutions is greater than the labeled volume, overdilution of medication can occur, resulting in an ineffective hemodynamic response in patients and thus an unintended adverse drug event. OBJECTIVES: To determine the actual fluid volumes of 100-mL intravenous bags, compare the actual volumes of 100-mL bags from the 3 major manufacturers of intravenous bags, and determine if the excess volume is sufficient to cause a clinically significant overdilution of dopamine. METHODS: A comparative descriptive design was used. The volumes of 162 intravenous bags of 100 mL of 5% dextrose in water (32 lot numbers with various expiration dates) were measured. Visual volume was confirmed by using a 250-mL graduated cylinder. Volume by weight was determined with a calibrated laboratory-quality electronic scale. On the basis of a mathematical model, any overfill greater than 110 mL was considered clinically significant. RESULTS: The difference between actual and labeled volumes was statistically and clinically significant. Mean visual volume was 110.20 mL (range, 107-114 mL). Mean weighed volume was 109.26 mL (range, 106.15-112.09 mL). The fluid volumes among bags from the 3 major IV companies differed significantly (P < .001). CONCLUSIONS: The overfill in sufficient numbers of 100-mL intravenous bags was enough to cause clinically significant overdilution of dopamine. When dopamine or other vasoactive medications are mixed, either an in-line buret or premixed bags of the drugs should be used to prevent an unintended adverse drug event.
Confusion, misunderstanding, and ethical concerns may interfere with patients' choices for appropriate treatment and subsequent quality of life. Such concerns did not originate from recent technological advances but from the ancient Greeks and Romans who honored health more than life, and the early Christians who honored life more than health. These opposing concepts reflect differing notions of quality of life. Determining the quality of life involves personal issues--the cognitive ability to evaluate one's own life; the perception of a satisfactory state of social, emotional, physical, and mental health; and an acceptable feeling of well-being despite physical limitations. In contrast, and often conflict, are objective evaluations of treatment outcomes, morbidity/mortality statistics, cost/benefit analyses, and age studies performed in an attempt to determine quality of life by persons other than the patient.
OBJECTIVE: To determine nursing resource utilization (acuity hours and dollars) by trauma patients based on analysis of a nursing acuity system and five trauma scoring systems. METHODS: Retrospective review of 448 trauma patients who required transport by aircraft to a level I trauma center. Values from the institution's automated nursing acuity system were compared with the Glasgow Coma Scale score, trauma score, revised trauma score, CRAMS score and injury severity score to obtain acuity hours and financial cost of care for trauma patients. RESULTS: Consistently, analysis of scores computed by five scoring instruments confirmed that nursing resource utilization is greatest for patients who are severely injured but likely to recover. For example, patients with a trauma score of 1 required 49 (+/- 66) mean acuity hours of care; those with a trauma score of 8 needed 189 (+/- 229) mean acuity hours; and those with a trauma score of 16 used 73 (+/- 120) mean acuity hours. Mean dollar costs were $980 (+/- 1293), $3812 (+/- 4518) and $1492 (+/- 2473), respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Nursing resource utilization can be determined for trauma patients by using an automated nursing acuity system and trauma scoring systems. Data acquired in this way provide a concrete basis for healthcare and reimbursement reform, for administrators who design nursing allocations and for nursing educators who prepare graduates to meet the needs of healthcare consumers.