Archive for August 2010
Submissiveness to authority is most of the time hilarious, but at times dangerous as well: In their book , Temple University professors of pharmacy Michael Cohen and Neil Davis attribute much of medication errors to the mindless deference given to the attending physician. Cohen, in Medication Errors: Causes and Prevention (1981), quotes a strange case of the ‘rectal earache’. A physician ordered ear drops to be administered to the right ear of a patient suffering pain and infection there. Instead of writing out completely the location ‘Right ear’ on the prescription, the doctor abbreviated it so that the instructions read ‘place in R ear’. Upon receiving the prescription, the duty nurse promptly put the required number of ear drops into the patient’s anus.