Recommendations Developed for Avoiding Perioperative Medication Errors

Enhanced policies, as well as technological solutions that can reduce opportunity for error, should be explored and adopted
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Medically Reviewed By:
Mark Arredondo, M.D.

TUESDAY, Aug. 15, 2023 (HealthDay News) -- In guidelines issued by the Association of Anaesthetists and published online Aug. 8 in Anaesthesia, recommendations are presented to avoid medication errors in the perioperative environment, including promotion of prefilled syringes.

Stephen Michael Kinsella, M.B., B.S., from the University Hospitals Bristol and Weston in the United Kingdom, and colleagues developed guidelines to provide safety steps to avoid medication errors for practitioners and other individuals in the operative environment. The Working Party developed eight overall recommendations for the anesthetic perioperative practice in the United Kingdom, along with detailed steps for each recommendation.

The eight recommendations include the need for clear institutional policy within multiple departments as well as careful individual practice for safe handling of medicines. Departments of anesthesia should have policies to promote safe medication handling. Purchasing with the aim of safety, consistent supply, and companies that comply with good labelling practice should promoted by pharmacy departments. Prefilled syringes are advantageous and their procurement and use should be encouraged. Development of standardization of fit-for-purpose physical structure and medicine storage in workplaces is recommended. Technological solutions should be explored and adopted that can reduce the opportunity for error. Promotion of standardization of practice for syringe labelling and handling is encouraged, and should form part of the curriculum for training anesthetists. Individuals and their departments should be aware of characteristics that may affect their working and adjust practice accordingly.

This statement "emphasizes that medication safety does not depend solely on the individual practitioner, but many departments within the hospital should also contribute to safe systems," the authors write.

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