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Silver Spring, MD: US Food and Drug Administration; April 5, 2022.

The challenge of medical device sterilization has shifted the design of some products with disposable elements in order to reduce opportunities for human error that increase infection potential during reuse. The publication supports the complete adoption of disposable duodenoscopes or scope components as a safety measure.

National Alert Network. Horsham, PA: Institute for Safe Medication Practices; Bethesda, MD: American Society of Health-System Pharmacists. December 6, 2021. 

Vaccine missteps are known to occur during flu and COVID-19 inoculation efforts. This announcement raises awareness of misadministration of COVID vaccines associated with patient age. It highlights storage protocols as one approach to minimize mistakes. This alert is part of a national program to distribute learnings from report analysis to improve medication safety.

MedWatch Safety Alert. Silver Spring, MD: US Food and Drug Administration; October 12, 2021.

This announcement highlights the possibility of medication administration inaccuracy due to design characteristics of a low dose tip (LDT) syringe. Recommended cleaning methods and other actions for patients, families and clinicians are provided to protect dose precision when using these syringes.
US Food and Drug Administration. October 7, 2021.
Errors of commission during complex procedures can contribute to patient harm. Drawing from an analysis of medical device reports submitted to the Food and Drug Administration, this updated announcement seeks to raise awareness of common adverse events associated with surgical staplers and implantable staples. User-related problems include opening of the staple line, misapplied staples, and staple gun difficulties. Recommendations include ensuring availability of various staple sizes and avoiding use of staples on large blood vessels.

MedWatch Safety Alert. Silver Spring, MD: US Food and Drug Administration; August 20, 2021.

Delays in treatment due to device misuse or design flaws can result in patient harm. This recall announcement highlights the omission of instructions describing a distinct device feature that, if a surgeon is unaware of it, reduces emergent umbilical vein catheter placement safety. Two deaths have been reported due to problems with the device.

MedWatch Safety Alert. Silver Spring, MD: US Food and Drug Administration; January 15, 2021. 

Vinca alkaloid misadministration is a persistent problem that results in patient harm and death. This alert raises awareness of label changes that aim to mitigate accidental spinal administration of the high-alert chemotherapy agent by supporting infusion bag administration only. 

National Alert Network for Serious Medication Errors. Bethesda, MD: American Society of Health-System Pharmacists and Institute for Safe Medication Practices. National Alert Network. September 9, 2020.

This announcement highlights container confusion as a contributing factor for accidental spinal injection of tranexamic acid. Storage, purchase, and preparation recommendations are shared to minimize errors with this medication.
MedWatch Safety Alert. Silver Spring, MD: US Food and Drug Administration; January 11, 2018.
Addressing the opioid epidemic has necessitated new approaches to prevent opioid misuse. This announcement describes new FDA requirements regarding labeling changes for prescription cough and cold medicines containing codeine or hydrocodone in pediatric patients.
MedWatch Safety Alert. Silver Spring, MD: US Food and Drug Administration; July 30, 2015.
Look-alike and sound-alike drug names can contribute to confusion and result in medication errors. To raise awareness of potential wrong-patient errors due to similarity between two proprietary names, this announcement describes near misses with the drugs at the prescribing and dispensing stage and suggests clinicians use the generic names for the medications to reduce risk of patient harm.
US Department of Health and Human Services; HHS; Food and Drug Administration; FDA.
Heparin is a high-alert anticoagulant that has been associated with patient harm due to issues with administration and contamination. This draft guidance seeks to engage insights from the field to help improve labeling practices. The deadline for officially submitting comments was October 7, 2015.
National Alert Network. Horsham, PA: Institute for Safe Medication Practices; Bethesda, MD: American Society of Health-System Pharmacists. June 30, 2015.
Standard use of metric oral dosage instructions has been advocated as a medication safety strategy. Raising concerns around dosing cups that include drams and ounces as scales—measures no longer in clinical use—which are available from major vendors and may be found in health care facilities, this announcement recommends use of oral syringes that only measure in milliliters for oral liquid medications to prevent errors.
National Alert Network. Horsham, PA: Institute for Safe Medication Practices; Bethesda, MD: American Society of Health-System Pharmacists. March 23, 2015
Misunderstanding prescription drug labels is a recognized source of errors in ambulatory care. This announcement raises awareness of new packaging for existing medications that may cause confusion due to similarities in color and layout. Recommendations are outlined to prevent mistakes associated with use of these medications.
FDA Safety Communication. Silver Spring, MD: US Food and Drug Administration; February 23, 2015.
Design limitations and production pressure may contribute to insufficient sterilization of complicated medical devices between uses. This announcement raises awareness of risks associated with inadequate cleaning of duodenoscopes that surfaced after a cluster of nosocomial infections at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center.
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development; NICHD; National Institutes of Health; NIH.
This dual-component funding program will support collaborative research and project development projects that explore strategies to reduce medical error in both routine hospital settings and intensive care units. This funding cycle has an expiration due date of September 8, 2021.