Hospitals Are Making Too Many Errors During the Coronavirus Crisis
The mean arterial pressure was well over 100 and the patient’s heart rate was racing. In an emergency room hastily converted into an I.C.U., abnormal vital signs were not unusual. Intubated coronavirus patients lined the unit, ventilators and IV pumps crammed in between their beds. The patients needed fluids, sedatives, paralytics, antibiotics. Some needed heparin (a blood thinner) for the raging blood clots that Covid-19 incited. Others whose blood pressure had plummeted were being given vasopressors.
One of the doctors, scrutinizing the armada of IV pumps, discerned the error. The patient had needed more heparin. But someone had accidentally increased the vasopressor, Levophed, instead. That’s like mixing up a blow torch and a chain saw. So now the patient was being flooded with an adrenaline-like medication, the equivalent of gunning a car engine, while the blood …continued .
[Source: New York Times]