The Safety Of Drugs And Medical Devices Depends On Accurate Translation

The Safety Of Drugs And Medical Devices Depends On Accurate Translation

As we live now in an ever-connected world, the chance you will interact with someone speaking a foreign language is almost a guarantee.  The importance of accuracy in translation is paramount and this is, even more, the case in the medical world. Here are a few reasons you need to guarantee perfect accuracy in translation when it comes to medications or medical equipment.

Margin of Error

Everybody's body is different. Whether it is BMI, age, diet, allergies, use of other medications, or any other factor, mistakes when it comes to administering medication can be lethal.  In a direct observation of over 91 administrations of medications, there was a median error rate of over 8-25%. Now imagine how dangerous this could be if the administration instructions were translated improperly. Another factor that needs to be taken into account is the fact that the United States, whether we like it or not, does not make use of the metric system, so this is so essential to be properly translated and converted in order to make sure US manufactured drugs are administered properly overseas and vice-versa. 

Limitations of Equipment

Medical equipment is very sensitive to weight and the distribution of that weight. Improper translation can lead to medical equipment being vastly overworked and have it's lifespan greatly reduced. Many hospitals work on a very tight budget so frequently replacing expensive medical equipment due to damage from misuse is not an option. Making sure that the optimum usage and physical limitations of a medical device are explicitly stated is one of the paramount responsibilities of proper translation. Another important factor to be considered is different phraseology in other languages which will make it that much easier, or harder if done wrong, for the patient to understand what they need to do and how the device is meant to help them.

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