ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Herbal Remedy Could Halt Peanut Allergy
Air Pollution May Raise Blood Pressure
Molecule in Skin May Link Eczema and Asthma
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
When Healing Becomes a Commodity
Acupuncture Eases Side Effects of Head, Neck Cancer Treatments
Acupuncture May Ease Depression During Pregnancy
ANIMAL CARE
Safe Toys for Dogs
Beware of Dog Bites
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
BONES & JOINTS
Active Young Women Need Calcium, Vitamin D
Most Kids With Type 1 Diabetes Lack Vitamin D
Too Few Screened for Abdominal Aneurysm, Study Says
CANCER
Bitter Melon Extract May Slow, Stop Breast Cancer
Healthy Behaviors Slow Functional Decline After Cancer
Spice Compounds May Stem Tumor Growth
CAREGIVING
Newborn Screenings Now Required Across U.S.
Simpler Sleep Apnea Treatment Seems Effective, Affordable
Undoing the 'Big Baby' Trend
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Review Confirms Links Between Diet, Heart Health
Walk 100 Steps a Minute for 'Moderate' Exercise
Exercise May Blunt Salt's Effect on Hypertension
COSMETIC
Study Evaluates Laser Therapies for Hair Removal
With Psoriasis, the Internet May Offer Hope
Wrinkle Fillers Need Better Label Warnings: FDA Panel
DENTAL, ORAL
Gum Disease Treatment Doesn't Cut Preterm Birth Risk
Holistic Dentistry-My View
Obesity Boosts Gum Disease Risk
DIABETES
Lifestyle Factors Tied to Older Adults' Diabetes Risk
Poor Blood Sugar Control After Heart Surgery Impacts Outcomes
Laughter May Lower Heart Attack Risk in Diabetics
DIET, NUTRITION
Eat Light - Live Longer
Omega-3 May Reduce Endometriosis Risk
Vitamin D Vital for the Heart
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Fertilizer Ban Makes a Difference
Chemical in Plastics May Cause Fertility Problems
Chemicals in Carpets, Non-Stick Pans Tied to Thyroid Disease
EYE CARE, VISION
Americans Losing Sight of Eye Health
Guard Kids' Eyes Against Long-Term Sun Damage
Green Tea May Ward Off Eye Disease
FITNESS
As Temperature Plummets, It's Still Safe to Exercise
Exercise As Well As Acupuncture, May Ease Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Want to Stop Cancer? You Can, Experts Say
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
Bowel Prep Harder on Women Than Men
GENERAL HEALTH
FDA Bans Unapproved Prescription Cough, Cold and Allergy Meds
Natural Oils Help Lower Body Fat For Some
Spot light on Dani Antman New Lionheart teacher
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Magnet Therapy May Ease Hard-to-Treat Depression
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Review Confirms Links Between Diet, Heart Health
An Apple a Day May Help Keep Heart Disease Away
Lack of Vitamin D Linked to High Blood Pressure
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Poor Restroom Cleaning Causes Cruise-Ship Sickness
Swine Flu Is Now a Pandemic Says W.H.O.
Swine Flu Closes Three Schools in NYC
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Too Many Infants Short on Vitamin D
Traffic, Dust Linked to Asthma in Kids
When It Comes to Toys, Shop Smart, Shop Safe
MEN'S HEALTH
Vigorous Exercise Cuts Stroke Risk for Men, Not Women
Lots of Sex May Prevent Erectile Dysfunction
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
MENTAL HEALTH
Environmental Chemicals May Affect Male Reproduction
Fear Response May Stem From Protein in Brain
Mind Exercise Might Help Stroke Patients
PAIN
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Acupuncture May Relieve Acid Indigestation In Pregnancy
Alternative Treatments May Boost IVF Success
Music of Mozart Soothes the Preemie Baby
SENIORS
For a Healthier Retirement, Work a Little
The Juice From Beetroots May Boost Stamina
Living Alone Increases Odds of Developing Dementia
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Heal Your Life® Tips for Living Well
Caffeine in Pregnancy Associated With Low Birth Weight Risk
Exercise As Well As Acupuncture, May Ease Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
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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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