Journal Article

Errors in administration of parenteral drugs in intensive care units: multinational prospective study.

Valentin A, Capuzzo M, Guidet B, et al. BMJ (Clinical research ed.). 2009;338:b814.

Intensive care unit (ICU) patients are generally considered to be at increased risk for medication errors. This cross-sectional study, conducted at hospitals in 27 countries, fused voluntary error reports to attempt to quantify the risk associated with intravenous medications in ICU patients. The authors found an error rate of 74.5 per 100 patient-days, with approximately 1% of patients suffering death or permanent harm as a result of a medication error. Most errors occurred during drug administration. Prior research has demonstrated the effectiveness of clinical pharmacists at reducing medication errors in the ICU.