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ISMP Medication Safety Alert! Acute Care Edition. April 8, 2010;15:1-3.
Cases & Commentaries
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- Web M&M
Margaret C. Fang, MD, MPH; December 2013
Two days after knee replacement surgery, a woman with a history of deep venous thrombosis receiving pain control via epidural catheter was restarted on her outpatient dose of rivaroxaban (a newer oral anticoagulant). Although the pain service fellow scanned the medication list for traditional anticoagulants, he did not notice the patient was taking rivaroxaban before removing the epidural catheter, placing the patient at very high risk for bleeding.
Journal Article > Study
Tsai TT, Maddox TM, Roe MT, et al; National Cardiovascular Data Registry. JAMA. 2009;302:2458-2464.
Patients hospitalized for cardiac problems are vulnerable to experiencing medication errors, as they are commonly prescribed high-risk medications such as anticoagulants and antiplatelet agents. This analysis of more than 22,000 hemodialysis patients undergoing percutaneous coronary interventions (PCI) (for example, angioplasty) found that 22.3% were administered either enoxaparin or eptifibatide, medications that are contraindicated in dialysis patients due to excessive bleeding risk. This risk was borne out in the study, as patients who received the contraindicated medications did in fact have more major bleeding episodes. The high prevalence of serious medication errors in this study argues for education and use of forcing functions to prevent misuse of these medications.