ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Herbal Remedy Could Halt Peanut Allergy
Climate Change Could Sting Allergy, Asthma Sufferers
Air Pollution May Raise Blood Pressure
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Acupuncture Eases Breast Cancer Treatment Side Effects
Should Your Child Be Seeing a Chiropractor?
Spot light on Dani Antman New Lionheart teacher
ANIMAL CARE
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Safe Toys for Dogs
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
BONES & JOINTS
Tips to Ease an Aching Back
Health Tip: Back Pain in Children
Heart Failure Raises Risk of Fractures
CANCER
Ginger Can Ease Nausea From Chemotherapy Treatments
Multiple Screening Strategy Boosts Cervical Cancer Detection
No Verdict Yet on Grape Seed Extract vs. Breast Cancer
CAREGIVING
Medication Errors Could Be Cut: Experts
Early Exercise Boosts Outcomes for ICU Patients
Late-Life Fatherhood May Lower Child's Intelligence
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Review Confirms Links Between Diet, Heart Health
A Brisk Pace May Keep Stroke at Bay
Walk 100 Steps a Minute for 'Moderate' Exercise
COSMETIC
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
What to Do If You Have Unsightly Veins
Contact Lenses Boost Kids' Self-Image
DENTAL, ORAL
Scientists Find Gene for Tooth Enamel
Sports Drinks May Be Tough on Teeth
An Oral Approach to Heart Disease
DIABETES
Lifestyle Factors Tied to Older Adults' Diabetes Risk
Whole Grains Take a Bite Out of Type 2 Diabetes Risk
Fructose-Sweetened Drinks Up Metabolic Syndrome Risk
DIET, NUTRITION
Purple Tomato Extended Lives of Cancer-Prone Mice
Eating in America Still Unhealthy
Leafy Greens Top Risky Food List
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Stomach Germ May Protect Against Asthma
Is It Safe to Go in the Gulf Coast's Water?
Radiation Exposure Linked to Aggressive Thyroid Cancers
EYE CARE, VISION
Poor Night Vision May Predict Age-Related Eye Disease
Americans Losing Sight of Eye Health
Diabetic Hispanics Missing Out on Eye Exams
FITNESS
Community Exercise Programs Boost Seniors' Strength
Good Warm-Ups Could Halve Sports Injuries
School Phys. Ed. Injuries Up 150 Percent
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
Japanese Herbals May Ease Gastro Woes
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
GENERAL HEALTH
Treat symptoms (result of disease) or diagnose systems (cause of disease)?
Man Dies of Brain Inflammation Caused by Deer Tick Virus
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Airport Full Body Scanners Pose No Health Threat: Experts
E-Mailing Your Way to Healthier Habits
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Whole Grains Lower Risk of Heart Failure
Years of Heavy Smoking Raises Heart Risks
Small Cuts in Salt Intake Spur Big Drops in Heart Trouble
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Viral Infection Might Trigger High Blood Pressure
Poor Restroom Cleaning Causes Cruise-Ship Sickness
Swine Flu Is Now a Pandemic Says W.H.O.
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Pool Chemicals Raise Kids Allergy, Asthma Risk
Play Creatively as a Kid, Be a Healthier Adult
Pregnant Women Exposed To Certain Pollutants Could Lower Childs IQ
MEN'S HEALTH
Low Vitamin D Levels May Boost Men's Heart Attack Risk
Drinking Green Tea May Slow Prostate Cancer
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
MENTAL HEALTH
Green Spaces Boost the Body and the Mind
Keeping Mentally Active Seems To Keep The Brain Active
Love Hormone May Ease Discussion of Painful Topics
PAIN
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Breast-Feeding Benefits Moms and Babies
Pre-Pregnancy Weight Linked to Babies' Heart Problems
Alternative Treatments May Boost IVF Success
SENIORS
Fitness Fades Fast After 45
Protein Deposits May Show Up Before Memory Problems Occur, Study Says
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Smoking Ups Risk of Second Breast Cancer
Broccoli May Help Battle Breast Cancer
Natural Relief for Painful Menstrual Cramps
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Injected Medication Errors a Major Problem

THURSDAY, March 12 (HealthDay News) -- Mistakes involving injected medications are a major safety problem in intensive care units, a new study reveals.

Researchers monitored errors in 1,328 patients in 113 ICUs in 27 countries over a 24-hour period in January 2007. Two U.S. sites with 50 patients were included in the study.

Dr. Andreas Valentin of the Rudolfstiftung Hospital in Vienna, Austria, and colleagues identified 861 injected medication errors involving 441 patients. No errors occurred in 67 percent of patients, while 250 patients (19 percent) experienced one error, and 191 patients (14 percent) experienced more than one error.

Errors caused no harm in the majority (71 percent) of patients, but 15 errors did cause permanent harm or death in 12 patients (0.9 percent). Medical trainees were involved in eight of those 15 errors.

The most common causes of errors were: wrong time of administration (386); missed medication (259); wrong dose (118); wrong drug (61); and wrong route (37).

ICU staff listed workload/stress/fatigue as a contributing factor in 32 percent of errors. Other contributing factors included: a recently changed drug name (18 percent); written communication problems (14 percent); oral communication problems (10 percent), and violation of standard protocol (9 percent).

The risk of an injected medication error increased significantly with a higher level of patient illness, a higher level of care, and a higher rate of drug injections. The risk was lower when a critical incident reporting system was in place and when there was an established routine of checks at nurses' shift changes, the researchers said.

They said their findings show that administration of injected medications is a weak point in patient safety in ICUs. But that risk can be reduced through organizational plans such as error reporting systems and routine checks at shift changes.

The study will be published online March 13 in the BMJ.

More information

The U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality outlines five steps to safer health care.



-- Robert Preidt



SOURCES: BMJ, news release, March 13, 2009

Last Updated: March 12, 2009

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