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John C. Kulli, MD; May 2011
A surgery fellow put two syringes in his pocket: one containing leftover anesthetic and one with agents to reverse it. When it came time to reverse the neuromuscular block, he administered the anesthetic by mistake.
Wahlberg D. Wisconsin State Journal. July 22, 2006:A1.
This article reports on a federal warning issued to a hospital after a medication error led to the death of a 16-year-old girl.
Journal Article > Review
Merry AF, Anderson BJ. Paediatr Anaesth. 2011;21:743-753.
This review discusses evidence-based practices and technologies that can reduce the incidence of medication errors.
Journal Article > Study
Multimodal system designed to reduce errors in recording and administration of drugs in anaesthesia: prospective randomised clinical evaluation.
Merry AF, Webster CS, Hannam J, et al. BMJ. 2011;343:d5543.
Drug administration errors are a major safety concern in anesthesiology, as even routine cases can require administration of several high-risk medications. In this randomized controlled trial, a novel system for drug administration was evaluated in comparison with usual anesthesia practice. The new system was designed according to human factors engineering principles and included proven safety measures such as barcode medication administration. Although fewer overall errors occurred with the new system, the reduction in administration errors occurred only when barcoding was performed consistently and safety alerts were heeded. The anesthesia field has long been a leader in patient safety, and in fact, some of the earliest studies in the patient safety field evaluated the role of human factors in anesthesia medication administration errors.