Soundings Soundings

A medical error

BMJ 2000; 320 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.320.7244.1283/a (Published 06 May 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;320:1283
  1. George Dunea, attending physician
  1. Cook County Hospital, Chicago, USA

    In the dying days of the first half of the last century, when ward sisters wore starched veils and hospital walls were painted green, an intern 10 days out of medical schoolwas summoned in the middle of the night to restart a clogged intravenous drip. This was done in those days by injecting 3.8% of sodium citrate, a procedure that doctors but notnurses were allowed to undertake.

    Sleepily the intern made his way to the medical floor. A …

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