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Revista médica de Chile

versão impressa ISSN 0034-9887

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SALAZAR L, Nicole et al. Prospective assessment of medication errors in critically ill patients in a university hospital. Rev. méd. Chile [online]. 2011, vol.139, n.11, pp.1458-1464. ISSN 0034-9887.  http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0034-98872011001100010.

Background: Critically ill patients are especially vulnerable to medication errors (ME) due to their severe clinical situation and the complexities of their management. Aim: To determine the frequency and characteristics of ME and identify shortcomings in the processes of medication management in an Intensive Care Unit. Patients and Methods: During a 3 months period, an observational prospective and randomized study was carried out in the ICU of a university hospital. Every step of patient's medication management (prescription, transcription, dispensation, preparation and administration) was evaluated by an external trained professional. Steps with higher frequency of ME and their therapeutic groups involved were identified. Medications errors were classified according to the National Coordinating Council for Medication Error Reporting and Prevention. Results: In 52 of 124 patients evaluated, 66 ME were found in 194 drugs prescribed. In 34% of prescribed drugs, there was at least 1 ME during its use. Half of ME occurred during medication administration, mainly due to problems in infusion rates and schedule times. Antibacterial drugs had the highest rate of ME. Conclusions: We found a 34% rate of ME per drug prescribed, which is in concordance with international reports. The identification of those steps more prone to ME in the ICU, will allow the implementation of an intervention program to improve the quality and security of medication management.

Palavras-chave : Critical illness; Intensive care units; Medication errors.

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