What are the opinions of front line staff?

Please sign the petition to ban indistinct pourable chlorhexidine (click here).

These are some comments from staff who’ve already signed:

I work in an environment where this could easily happen and I do not ever want to be in a situation where this mistake could happen.

My hospital still uses pourable lightly tinted as well as red tinted. Luck of the draw which one I receive even though I complain!

Ban light pink. Dark tint only should be approved!

Health practitioners need to speak out for a safer workplace and Chlorhexidine tinted pink is a risk to patients.

Why allow something which can cause devastating consequences and rely on individuals always getting it right. On that basis we could remove air bags, saying if all vehicles are driven as intended air bags are not necessary.

Human error will always exist, by minimising its chances however we are minimising unnecessary fatal risks. What more is there to consider? (And don’t say budget because the cost to the health system that these errors have made are monumentous.) Prevention will always be better than cure.

Anything that can change the catastrophic outcome to even one more potential victim is worth doing.

No matter how careful we think we are, we are all at risk of causing harm to patients with pink chlorhexidine.

I know a case where the patient has catastrophic damage from the pink chlorhex. It must be banned please!

This is unsafe and should be stopped!

I’m an anaesthetist and I don’t want to mix these up!!

I still remember the St George 2010 incident, where a woman with a complicated pregnancy went to have an epidural and received chlorhexidine instead all because the two solutions were both decanted into pots and we’re barely distinguishable from one another. I don’t know of the outcome of that case but the simple fact that it happened in the first place because the chlorhexidine looked similar to the anaesthetic is not good enough. St George hospital has since updated it’s policy and protocol to help minimise the chance of such an event happening again but that is only one hospital and I would quote Murphy’s law in this instance. The best way to minimise the risk is for chlorhexidine to be visibly distinguishable from other injectable solutions.

Please join their voices. Click here and sign the petition. Front line staff need to be empowered with improving their work environment to optimise patient safety.