ASA: Peri-Op Medication Errors Far Too Common

Share this content:
ASA: Peri-Op Medication Errors Far Too Common
ASA: Peri-Op Medication Errors Far Too Common

THURSDAY, Oct. 29, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- In a new study on how often medication errors occur during surgery, researchers report that mistakes were made during almost half of the operations they analyzed. The findings were published online Oct. 21 in Anesthesiology to coincide with the annual meeting of the American Society of Anesthesiologists, held from Oct. 24 to 28 in San Diego.

The findings stem from the in-house efforts of Boston-based Massachusetts General Hospital to quantify and address drug-error risk during surgery. The investigators focused on operations performed at Mass General over seven months in 2013 and 2014. All drugs and drug errors were recorded (or extracted from medical charts) covering the time a patient entered a preoperative area until they were out of surgery and in either a recovery room or an intensive care unit.

The researchers found that, overall, a medication error or adverse drug event was documented in 124 of 277 surgeries. Of the 3,675 medication administrations, 193 medication errors and adverse drug events were recorded. And almost 80 percent of those events were determined to have been preventable. The mistakes included drug labeling errors, incorrect dosing, drug documentation mistakes, and/or failing to properly treat changes in a patient's vital signs during surgery. Two-thirds of the drug errors were categorized as "serious," while 2 percent were considered life-threatening (though none of the patients died as a result). The remaining errors were considered "significant."

"This is the first large-scale look at medication errors in the time immediately before, during, and directly after surgery," study author Karen Nanji, M.D., M.P.H., an assistant professor of anesthesia at Harvard Medical School in Boston, told HealthDay. "But in my opinion, while there is much room for improvement, our results are not surprising. In fact, it's very likely that this issue is even more problematic given that Mass General is a national leader in patient safety, and has gone out of its way to study this issue in order to improve outcomes."

Full Text
Editorial
More Information

Share this content:

is free, fast, and customized just for you!

Already a member?

Sign In Now »

Drug Lookup

Browse drugs by: BrandGenericDisease

Trending Activities

All Professions



Sign up for myCME e-newsletters


More in Home

Pharmacists Should Counsel Patients Fasting for Ramadan

Pharmacists Should Counsel Patients Fasting for Ramadan

Pharmacists can suggest adjustments for meds taken several times per day, those affected by food intake

AUA: Many Have Unused Opioids After Urologic Procedures

AUA: Many Have Unused Opioids After Urologic Procedures

Patients use just over half of initial prescription; highest percentage of unused meds for cystectomy

Over Half of Young Adult Smoke Volume Exposure From Hookahs

Over Half of Young Adult Smoke Volume Exposure ...

Toxicant exposure to tar, carbon monoxide, nicotine lower, but still substantial, compared to cigarettes

is free, fast, and customized just for you!

Already a member?

Sign In Now »