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ISMP Medication Safety Alert! Acute care edition. July 13, 2023;(4):1-3;July 27, 2023;(5):1-5.
This case represents a known but generally preventable complication of calcium chloride infusion, eventually necessitating surgical amputation of the patient’s left fourth (ring) finger. The commentary discusses the importance of correctly identifying IV fluids as irritants or vesicants, risks associated with the use of vesicants such as calcium chloride, and the role of early recognition of infiltration and extravasation and symptom management to minimize tissue damage and accelerate healing.
Medication reconciliation is a common strategy to improve patient safety but is complex and time consuming. Three academic medical centers developed and implemented a risk stratification tool so limited pharmacist resources could be allocated to patients with the highest likelihood of medication adverse events.
This case focuses on immediate-use medication compounding in the operating room and how the process creates situations in which medication errors can occur. The commentary discusses strategies for safe perioperative compounding and the role of standardized processes, such as checklists, to ensure medication safety.
The cases described in this WebM&M reflect fragmented care with lapses in coordination and communication as well as failure to appropriately address medication discrepancies. These two cases involve duplicate therapy errors, which have the potential to cause serious adverse drug events.