Journal Article

Preventable adverse drug events in hospitalized patients: a comparative study of intensive care and general care units.

Cullen DJ; Sweitzer BJ; Bates DW; Burdick E; Edmondson A; Leape LL.

This prospective cohort study examined more than 4000 adult admissions to compare the frequency and preventability of adverse drug events (ADEs) in intensive care units (ICUs) and non-ICUs. Investigators report the rate of preventable and potential ADEs, the combined event rates by unit type, and characteristics of the hospitalizations. The authors also present data on the stage at which an ADE occurred, consequences of the preventable and potential ADEs, and the respective drug categories implicated. They suggest that, after adjustment for the number of drugs administered, ICUs and non-ICUs share comparable rates of ADEs. Based on structured interviews conducted with those persons involved in each ADE, system-level differences in the respective units failed to provide a clear association.