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Friday, March 13, 2009

The Telegraph reports that a fifth of patients in intensive care are subjected to errors with their medication, according to a study.

Patients in intensive care suffer frequent medicine errors, research finds
article in the Telegraph


"The most frequent mistakes were giving medication at the wrong time, followed by missed doses and administering the wrong dose.

The research involved 113 intensive care units in 27 countries, including the UK.

The team examined errors made with medicines in a 24-hour snapshot.

Of the 1,328 patients in the study, 861 medicine errors affected 441 patients. Seven patients experienced permanent harm as a result of the errors while five died as a direct result.

However the authors warned that because the reports of errors was voluntary it is likely to reflect an underestimate of the real scale of the problem.

The data, published in the British Medical Journal online, showed that heavy workload, stress and general tiredness among staff contributed to a third of all errors."

I can't help thinking that if fewer drugs were prescribed there would be less risk of error.