Document Type

Article

Department

Anaesthesia

Abstract

Drug related incidents are a common form of reported medical errors. This paper reviews the critical incidents related to drug errors reported from the main operating theatre suite in a teaching hospital in a developing country from January 1997 to December 2002. Each report was evaluated individually by two reviewers using a structured process. During this period, 44 874 anaesthetics were administered; 768 critical incidents were reported, 165 (21%) of which were related to drug errors. Underdosage, side-effect/drug reaction and syringe swap were the most common. A total of 76% were classified as preventable; 56% due to human error and 19% due to system error. High risk incidents accounted for 10% of all drug errors and most of these were related to the use of neuromuscular blocking drugs. This analysis has been found useful in addressing some issues about priorities.

Publication

Anaesthesia

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