Grams vs Miligrams: A Fatal Mistake
De Horta, Brandon
MetadataShow full item record
Session presented on Friday, September 26, 2014: Abstract: Medication errors are preventable adverse effects in patient care. With medical errors being one of the leading causes of inpatient & outpatient deaths, the nursing community has implemented several safety nets for improving medication practices. They happen for many reasons such as poor communication, improper documentation, illegible handwriting, similar medications, and high patient-to-nurse ratio. Unfortunately with all the guidelines for reducing medical errors, the nursing community still uses the improper abbreviation of gm for grams than the International Standard of Unit (ISU) approved abbreviation g. Nursing has become a very diverse practice that has been utilized by corporations, military branches, advisors for state and federal jobs and NASA. According to International Standard of Units (ISU) Gm is the abbreviation for giga-meter. Although giga-meter is unlikely to be utilized in nursing practice, the potential for errors still exists. Using the universally approved abbreviation promotes optimal communication across all careers, such as working with NASA or other astronautical engineers where Gm would be confused with giga-meters. Its important for the nursing community to be easily integrated in all careers and fields. A dangerous reason for using gm for grams is that it can be confused with mg for mili-grams. Dyslexia has been reported to be the most common disability ranging from mild to severe. One does not need to be diagnosed with dyslexia to have a dyslexic episode. The general populations, including nurses, have reported had a dyslexic episode at one point in their career. This can be exceptionally dangerous to pediatric patients since the potential for adverse drug events is three times higher than in adults. Making a dyslexic medical error with gm to mg or vice-versa could make drug 1000 times less effective or worse, more potent. It is important for nurses to consider every possibility that may lead to a medical error that could have been preventable. Medication errors are preventable and are vital for us to predict where they may occur. Identifying the possibility of a dyslexic episode causing a mediation error will help evade a fatal mistake. Its also important for nurses to be prepared in all careers and fields. The proper usage of the abbreviation of grams not only allows for a universal acceptance but also decrease the possibility of a fatal medical error that could have easily been prevented.