A diabetic patient's blood glucose levels have been increasing so the doctor has written an order as follows: Regular insulin 5u subcut before meals. Lunch will arrive in 15 minutes, so the nurse draws up 50 units of regular insulin. The second verifying nurse questions the amount of insulin prior to administration. Which of the following demonstrates the correct way the order should have been written? 

Regular insulin 5 units subcut before meals

Explanation

•Regular insulin 5 units subcut before meals

•The Joint Commission has placed "u" on the "Do Not Use" list of abbreviations because it is often misread as the number "0" (zero). This mistake could cause the administration of a dose 10 times higher than intended. Instead, the word "units" should be written out to prevent confusion in dosing and also prevent a severe adverse event from a medication error. 

•An order that uses an unapproved abbreviation needs to be rewritten correctly before being administered.

•Nurses are required to have another nurse double-check doses of insulin to help prevent overdosing of this high-alert drug. 

Incorrect options:

•Insulin is never dosed in mL or cc, only units, which are a measurement of the effect on the body.

•Reg Ins should be written out as Regular Insulin to avoid confusion.

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