'Nurses ought to be trained in safe infusion practices'

Samar Pandey had his arm pricked eight times at different spots before the nurse could find the right veins to inject him. He sat through the pain and left cursing the “inexperienced” nurse.

Pandey is one of those countless victims of unsafe infusion practices who find it a “minor” issue. But health experts warned that as simple a procedure it might appear to be, infusion therapy is complex, risk-prone as well as life-threatening.

“A nurse ended up injecting the muscles of a baby instead of its veins. The baby’s arm had to be amputated,” said Col Saravjeet Singh, head of Infusion Nurses Society, Delhi forum. With an aim to train nurses and healthcare professionals in Delhi in safe infusion practices, the Infusion Nurses Society (India) launched its forum at the national capital.

“Every nurse in every hospital of Delhi needs to be trained. They are trained in classes, but lack clinical experience, confidence and competency, which pose great risk,” said Singh, head of INS Delhi forum.

“Hence it is very important for them to have adequate knowledge and skills, including monitoring patients, managing intravenous lines, maintaining arterial catheters, being aware of potential complications and know-how of managing these complications,” Singh added.

There is also the ever-existent fear of reuse of injection devices which can lead to transmission of infections, contamination and dosage inaccuracy.

Experts also say that the laxity is because infusion is a very common procedure, but that makes precautions even more necessary.

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