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Adverse drug events caused by medication errors in medical inpatients


Hardmeier, Beat; Braunschweig, Suzanne; Cavallaro, Marzia; Roos, Malgorzata; Pauli-Magnus, Christiane; Giger, Max; Meier, Peter J; Fattinger, Karin (2004). Adverse drug events caused by medication errors in medical inpatients. Swiss Medical Weekly, 134(45-46):664-670.

Abstract

PRINCIPLES: In view of growing concern in recent years regarding medication errors as causes of adverse drug events (ADEs), we explore the frequency and characteristics of error-associated ADEs in medical inpatients. METHODS: All patients with ADEs or ADErelated hospital admission in a cohort of medical inpatients identified by "event monitoring" (SAS/CHDM database, Br J Clin Pharmacol 2000:49:158-67) were evaluated independently by two experienced physicians. ADEs were first divided into ADEs occurring during cohort stay (incident ADE) and ADE present prior to/at admission. ADEs were then grouped as error-associated ADEs (eADEs: indication error, missed contraindication, wrong dosage regimen or inadequate surveillance) and adverse drug reactions (ADRs: indication established, no contraindications, appropriate dosage regimen and adequate surveillance). RESULTS: Among the 6383 patients analysed (100%), 481 (7.5%) experienced at least one incident ADE. Incident ADRs occurred in 457 (7.2%). Incident eADEs were recorded in 28 patients, corresponding to an eADE incidence of 0.4% (95% CI: 0.2, 0.7). Error types were missing/inappropriate indication (4 cases), missed contraindications (9), relative overdoses (8), absolute overdoses (3) and inadequate clinical surveillance (4). The responsible drugs included antithrombotics (6), cardiovascular drugs (5), antibiotics (5), hypnotics (4) and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (3). ADE-related hospital admissions were observed in 262 patients (4.1%); 183 (2.9%) were classified as ADRs and 79 (1.2%) as eADEs. CONCLUSIONS: Incident eADEs were observed in 1 out of 250 patients and accounted for approximately 6% of ADEs. In contrast, eADEs accounted for 30% of ADE-related hospital admissions. Hence, in medical inpatients, eADEs represented a small fraction of total incident ADEs, whereas they contributed significantly to hospital admissions.

Abstract

PRINCIPLES: In view of growing concern in recent years regarding medication errors as causes of adverse drug events (ADEs), we explore the frequency and characteristics of error-associated ADEs in medical inpatients. METHODS: All patients with ADEs or ADErelated hospital admission in a cohort of medical inpatients identified by "event monitoring" (SAS/CHDM database, Br J Clin Pharmacol 2000:49:158-67) were evaluated independently by two experienced physicians. ADEs were first divided into ADEs occurring during cohort stay (incident ADE) and ADE present prior to/at admission. ADEs were then grouped as error-associated ADEs (eADEs: indication error, missed contraindication, wrong dosage regimen or inadequate surveillance) and adverse drug reactions (ADRs: indication established, no contraindications, appropriate dosage regimen and adequate surveillance). RESULTS: Among the 6383 patients analysed (100%), 481 (7.5%) experienced at least one incident ADE. Incident ADRs occurred in 457 (7.2%). Incident eADEs were recorded in 28 patients, corresponding to an eADE incidence of 0.4% (95% CI: 0.2, 0.7). Error types were missing/inappropriate indication (4 cases), missed contraindications (9), relative overdoses (8), absolute overdoses (3) and inadequate clinical surveillance (4). The responsible drugs included antithrombotics (6), cardiovascular drugs (5), antibiotics (5), hypnotics (4) and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (3). ADE-related hospital admissions were observed in 262 patients (4.1%); 183 (2.9%) were classified as ADRs and 79 (1.2%) as eADEs. CONCLUSIONS: Incident eADEs were observed in 1 out of 250 patients and accounted for approximately 6% of ADEs. In contrast, eADEs accounted for 30% of ADE-related hospital admissions. Hence, in medical inpatients, eADEs represented a small fraction of total incident ADEs, whereas they contributed significantly to hospital admissions.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Prevention Institute (EBPI)
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2004
Deposited On:23 Jun 2009 10:35
Last Modified:19 Feb 2018 20:33
Publisher:EMH Swiss Medical Publishers
ISSN:0036-7672
OA Status:Gold
Official URL:http://www.smw.ch/docs/pdf200x/2004/45/smw-10801.pdf
PubMed ID:15611888

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