A New York urgent care center, several of its staff members, and a company that manufactures practice devices for medical education are all being sued by a woman who claims she became serious ill by being given a nonsterile solution that was actually intended only for training purposes. The suit alleges that in December 2014 staff administered IV fluids from a practice IV bag made by Wallcur LLC instead of the proper sterile solution that may have been appropriate for her care at the time. Court papers claim that any number of providers at the urgent care center could have recognized the alleged mistake and intervened, and that Wallcur improperly labeled and shipped the IV bags to patient care facilities—both the clinic named in this suit and others. The urgent care center and Wallcur have both been named in similar suits previously. One previously reported incident led the FDA to launch an investigation that ultimately found some of Wallcur’s IV solutions intended for training purposes had been distributed to multiple healthcare facilities, and cautioned professionals not to use the products on humans or animals. Wallcur initiated a recall of that product. As recently as April 2015, the FDA said it knew of 40 patients in several states who received “practice” solutions by mistake, with 26 having adverse reactions that included fever, chills, tremors, and headaches. The lesson for urgent care providers is to inspect every IV product carefully, ideally confirming by several staff members that the correct product is being administered.
Do You Really Know What’s in that IV Bag?