I keep saying this for years and some people think I’m exaggerating: “Bad information and product design can hurt people.”
Here is an amazing recent example of how badly-designed products can cause needless injuries and pain, as it happened to movie star Dennis Quaid and his wife who almost lost their newborn baby when an abnormally high dose of Heparin (a blood coagulant) was given to the poor infant.
I’m not referring to the claim that Chinese-made Heparin bottles contain contaminants.
I’m referring to the poor label design that, in the hectic conditions of an emergency ward, makes applying 10,000 units of Heparin instead of just 10 a very simple mistake to commit.
The one on the right is 10 units and the one on the left is 10,000 units!
Same size bottle. Both with a blue label! Perfectly designed to generate a 1,000-fold error…
Is it a wonder that many nurses ended up injecting the wrong doze and thus inadvertently endangering lives?
Who can blame them when a critical product has this kind of totally unacceptable label design?
To its credit, the company that manufactures Heparin has now changed the packaging of these two different dozes. I understand now one of the bottles has a BRIGHT RED label. An excellent move even if it’s a bit late.
Whoever designed these unbelievably-close blue labels should never be allowed to design anything else again. Period.