Color Theory, Part II

photo 2009 by J.Paradisi

flip-off vial caps photo by J.Paradisi

     Today at work, I read a medication alert newsletter cautioning nurses and pharmacists about medications that come in vials with similarly colored labels and caps, making it easy to accidentally give the wrong drug, by confusing the colors.  The article went on to say that studies show people have difficulty not only remembering what color they are looking for, but also with differentiating colors of similar hues, like violets and blues.

     I can tell the difference between French Ultramarine and cobalt blue. Identifying Thalo blue from Prussian blue is a no brainer. However, no matter what color is on the label of the medication vial, it’s my personal practice to read the label, because it’s just way too easy on our busy shifts to make a med error. Way too easy. 

   What I wish the medication manufacturers would do is increase the size of the print on the labels. The older I get, the more difficult they are to read.