Apr 152013

“Oops!  I put the drip on too fast!”  -  L&D nurse to mother after having 2 bags of fluid administered in a short time.  As a result, the mother was was shaking, and feeling very anxious with a fast heartbeat.

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 April 15, 2013  L&D Nurse, labor  Add comments

  16 Responses to ““Oops! I Put The Drip On Too Fast!””

  1. Oops? Oops? Oops is when you walk out the house and forget your purse, not when you over-hydrate someone with chemicals that could damage theirs AND their baby’s system. Ugh!

    • What would you rather she say when someone realizes a mistake and is in the process of fixing it?

      • How about “I’m so sorry!”?

      • “I’m terribly sorry, but I set the drip too fast. It’s probably fine, but I’m going to get you another blanket and page the doctor to make sure I don’t need to do anything else to help you because of that.”

        The submission specifically says the mother was feeling anxious. The nurse needed to address the anxiety.

        • This exactly. “Oops” is dismissive and being dismissive in a medical setting is never acceptable.

          If this were me, I would not trust the nurse anymore and would definitely want a doctor to come and make sure that there was no damage done. Also, I’d want to make sure that someone else knew that she had made a mistake in case there is damage later. She would need to take responsibility.

          • I pinked below. I’ve shared many comments on this site from this birth. It was the one in which I had warned the doctor early I would likely have the baby quickly as my previous children came quickly. When I asked the nurse to call the doctor as she wasn’t there yet she said, “she likes to be called at 8cm.” She didn’t hear me when I said the baby was crowning, she didn’t get the doctor called before. My baby was born onto the bed with no one medical watching, though I was telling them that I felt the “ring of fire” and felt like I was pushing.

        • This.

          For one thing, if the nurse is going to admit fault — which she clearly did — prefacing it with “oops” isn’t helpful, it’s dismissive and potentially damaging to her career if something went seriously wrong with the patient.

          There’s a reason medical malpractice and infection are the leading causes of hospital-related injury and death, and that reason is not “patients get all uppity when medical professionals say stupid things.” The reason is because nurses and doctors get comfortable, they get lazy, they unlearn practices designed to keep themselves and their patients safe, and mistakes happen. The solution is not to say, “Whoopsies! Hope that doesn’t suck too much for you!” but to acknowledge the very grave, serious damage that could have been done.

          This nurse got lucky in that it was only fluids, not, say, administering a pitocin drip too high for a VBAC mother resulting in rupture. I really hope she wouldn’t shrug and say “Oops” then.

  2. This is why I’m refusing liquids. I’ll stick to drinking water/Gatorade to stay hydrated.

  3. my mom worked in a dental office. her first day of the job, the dentist told her that she was NEVER EVER to say “oops”. instead, he said, “There, now.” :)

  4. My dad took flying lessons and one of the things he learned was never to say “oops” in front of passengers. It increases their anxiety because you may be thinking “oops, I made a tiny common error that I’ve already corrected and no big deal” but the passenger may be hearing “oops there has been a major error and the pilot is totally incompetent and the plane is going dooowwwnnnn!!”
    Same with nurses. The patient has no idea of what the consequences of your error might be and how common the error was. It undermines their confidence in the nurse.

  5. Goes back to professionalism, and paying attention to details.

  6. This was my 4th baby, I could not figure out the anxiety. I later told my mom and grandma about this, the over two bags given quickly (because another nurse came in and replaced with a 3rd bag) and these nurses who worked coronary care told me I could have had heart issues due to fluid overload. My anxiety may have been related to this. I had been drinking frequently in labor, had been used to getting IV’s and didn’t think about refusing. The nurse actually told me I was shivering due to the overload of fluids. Same nurse was the one who didn’t call the doctor and baby was born on the bed with the nurse’s back turned.

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