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Saline in IV solutions and potential malpractice

On Behalf of | Mar 9, 2018 | Firm News

While injuries or illnesses may result when receiving medical care, this does not mean there was a medical mistake. Such injuries may be the result of other factors.

In New York and throughout the country, hospitals use IV bags for dispensing of intravenous fluids including saline. Research now appears to indicate that the saline dispensed may result in kidney failure and even death for patients.

What the research suggests

One study suggests a smaller percentage of individuals experienced severe kidney problems if given a “balanced fluid” rather than saline. For every 100 patients, there would be one less death from kidney failure when using a balanced fluid.

Arguably, this percentage is exceedingly small. But we need to remember that IV use is extremely common in medical care. It serves to resolve dehydration issues, to provide patients with nutrients and medication, and to help stabilize blood pressure. With the millions of individuals receiving these IV fluids throughout the country, the use of saline could result in thousands of lives being lost.

What this means when it comes to medical malpractice

The results of the above-mentioned test resulted in at least one major hospital changing its practice when it came to administration of IVs. Another hospital also changed its practice due to several years of concern regarding providing saline. Though it is still too early to tell, many other hospitals may change their method providing saline as an IV solution as well.

As this study suggests, medical practices at hospitals and clinics sometimes need to change. What was thought a safe treatment a few years ago may be considered unsafe today. It is up to such facilities to keep up with the latest medical research and always provide patients the safest available treatment. Otherwise, they may face a medical malpractice lawsuit.

Besides defending medical providers and their carriers in court, medical malpractice defense attorneys play another important role. They provide guidance regarding avoiding liability. They know what sorts of medical malpractice cases courts are trying and can tell you what sorts of practices and treatments are likely to get you sued.

The mere accusation that your facility did not keep up on the latest medical research may mean your hospital will face a medical malpractice lawsuit if injuries or illness occurs. And the verdict may be substantial.

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