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Journal Article > Study
Sheth HS, Verrico MM, Skledar SJ, Towers AL. Ann Pharmacother. 2005;39:255-261.
This AHRQ-funded study looks at the possibilities of adverse drug events that can be heightened during a drug shortage. The authors concluded that age and the number of prescribed medications a patient is currently receiving can affect his or her safety in this situation.
National Alert Network for Serious Medication Errors. Bethesda, MD: American Society of Health-System Pharmacists and Institute for Safe Medication Practices; June 16, 2010.
This announcement describes potential dosing errors that may result from a shortage of pre-filled Epinephrine syringes.
ISMP Medication Safety Alert! Acute Care Edition. July 29, 2010;15:1-4.
This article discusses medication shortages and how they exacerbate medication error and treatment delay. The piece includes a link to a brief survey on this topic.
Journal Article > Commentary
De Oliveira GS Jr, Theilken LS, McCarthy RJ. Anesth Analg. 2011;113:1429-1435.
Several commonly used anesthesia medications are among the 140 medications currently considered to be in short supply. Data from MEDMARX reveals that shortages have been implicated in many cases of prescribing errors, often when one concentration of medication was substituted for the unavailable formulation.
Journal Article > Study
McBride A, Holle LM, Westendorf C, et al. Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2013;70:609-617.
National drug shortages in the United States have become a serious patient safety concern. These shortages reached record levels in 2011, resulting in documented patient harm, longer stays, and increased costs. This survey of US oncology pharmacists reveals that cancer drug shortages were common during the first half of 2011 and resulted in delays and changes in chemotherapy. Use of less familiar alternatives also led to increased risk of medication errors and adverse outcomes. Near misses were reported by 16% of respondents, and 6% documented medication errors. A previous article discussed how hospitals and health care leaders might address this "patient safety crisis."
Journal Article > Review
Rider AE, Templet DJ, Daley MJ, Shuman C, Smith LV. J Pharm Pract. 2013;26:183-191.
Drug shortages have been shown to have serious clinical consequences for affected patients. This review article outlines a systematic approach for managing drug shortages.
ISMP Medication Safety Alert! Acute Care Edition. April 19, 2012;17:1-3.
This article reports results from a survey of hospital pharmacy staff on patient injury associated with drug shortages.
Tampa, FL: International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineering; June 2013.
Journal Article > Study
Impact of a drug shortage on medication errors and clinical outcomes in the pediatric intensive care unit.
Hughes KM, Goswami ES, Morris JL. J Pediatr Pharmacol Ther. 2015;20:453-461.
Drug shortages can result in safety consequences, as studies have shown a higher rate of treatment failure and increased adverse events associated with unavailability of first-line therapies. However, this study did not find any change in adverse events in pediatric intensive care unit patients during a shortage of commonly used sedatives and injectable opioid pain medications. The authors note that advance warning of the shortage and development of standardized algorithms for drug substitution may have mitigated the potential safety hazards.
Safe handling of concentrated electrolyte products from outsourcing facilities during critical drug shortages.
National Alert Network. Horsham, PA: Institute for Safe Medication Practices; Bethesda, MD: American Society of Health-System Pharmacists. May 24, 2018.
Drug shortages can necessitate hospitals to find alternative sources for important medications. This alert raises awareness of risks associated with potassium chloride use due to variations in labeling, packaging, or concentration of outsourced medications. Recommendations include use of barcode scanning and communicating with staff regarding drug shortages.
ISMP Medication Safety Alert! Acute Care Edition. November 1, 2018;23:1-5. November 15, 2018;23:1-5.
Errors in the administration of intravenous medications can result in patient harm. This set of articles discusses the results of a nationwide IV push medication survey. The first article reviews unsafe practices in care delivery as defined by inpatient clinicians. The second article recommends ways to improve practice such as assessment of current practices, use of prefilled syringes, and heightened attention to effective labeling.