The nurse on a labor and delivery unit is caring for a patient admitted for induction of labor. The doctor has written an order as follows: "Start oxytocin 4cc/hr IV." The doctor's handwriting is small and difficult to read. The nurse initiates the infusion at a rate of 400 milliliters per hour. After 10 minutes, the patient is in severe pain and the fetus is in distress. Of the following, which is true regarding this adverse event?

The order should have read: "Start oxytocin 4 mL per hour IV." The nurse should have requested clarification of the order before initiating the medication.

Explanation

•The order should have read: "Start Pitocin 4 mL per hour IV." The nurse should have requested clarification of the order before initiating the medication.

•The Joint Commission has "cc" (cubic centimeter) on the "Do Not Use" list because it can be interpreted as "00" (double zero) a misinterpretation that could increase the actual dose ordered by 100 times the intended amount.

•Nurses should request orders to be rewritten if they contain unapproved abbreviations to avoid such adverse events.

•Nurses are also responsible for being familiar with the normal dose range of drugs they administer. Any dosage that seems unusual to the nurse should be questioned, and the doctor called for further clarification. Always err on the side of caution to ensure patient safety. 

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