ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
New Spray Could Benefit Cystic Fibrosis Patients
'Safe' Ozone Levels May Not Be for Some
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Supplement Hampers Thyroid Cancer Treatment
Uncover Why Turmeric Helps You Heal
Should Your Child Be Seeing a Chiropractor?
ANIMAL CARE
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
Safe Toys for Dogs
Beware of Dog Bites
BONES & JOINTS
Weight Loss Might Not Curb Knee Arthritis
Human Ancestors Put Best Foot Forward 1.5M Years Ago
Too Few Screened for Abdominal Aneurysm, Study Says
CANCER
Gene Studies Reveal Cancer's Secrets
Where You Live May Affect Your Cancer Diagnosis
More Americans Urged to Get Cancer Screenings
CAREGIVING
Flu Strikes a Milder Blow This Season
New Guidelines for Treating Heart Failure
Tiniest Babies Carry Biggest Costs
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Secondhand Smoke Quickly Affects Blood Vessels
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
Smog Tougher on the Obese
COSMETIC
Gum Chewing May Cut Craving for Snacks
With Psoriasis, the Internet May Offer Hope
Get Sugared!.... Its a sweet choice for hair removal
DENTAL, ORAL
Gummy Bears Join Cavity Fight
Dental Implants Need More Work Than Root Canals
Gum Care Helps Control Type 2 Diabetes and Its Complications
DIABETES
Saliva Test Could Monitor Type 2 Diabetes
Diabetes Linked to Cognitive Problems
Study Shows Turmeric May Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
DIET, NUTRITION
Milk Destroys Antioxidant Benefits in Blueberries
Meat Additives May Be Dangerous for Kidney Patients
DASH Diet Has Extra Benefits for Women's Health
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
City Kids Find the Breathin' Is Easier Elsewhere
Improved Fungicides May Be Easier on Environment
Stomach Germ May Protect Against Asthma
EYE CARE, VISION
Nutrient-Rich Diet Lowers Risk of Age-Related Eye Disease
Vision Test for Young Children Called Unreliable
Kids Who Spend More Time Outdoors Have Better Vision
FITNESS
Research Confirms How Valuable A Healthy Lifestyle Can Be
After a Stroke, Light Exercise Gets Hands, Arms Working Again
'Safe' Ozone Levels May Not Be for Some
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
Bowel Prep Harder on Women Than Men
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
GENERAL HEALTH
Smog Tougher on the Obese
Asparagus May Ease Hangover
Heart Disease May Be Prevented By Taking Fish Oils, Study Shows
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
Magnet Therapy May Ease Hard-to-Treat Depression
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
How Weight Loss Can Help the Heart
Low Vitamin D Levels Linked to Heart Disease
Brown Rice Tied to Better Heart Health in Study
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Chinese 'Devil Dung' Plant Could Be a Swine Flu Fighter
Poor Restroom Cleaning Causes Cruise-Ship Sickness
Surgical Masks Could Prevent Flu, Maybe
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Fussy Babys Could Be Out Of Your Control
Winter's Bitter Cold Poses Health Dangers
Stomach Germ May Protect Against Asthma
MEN'S HEALTH
Whole Grains, Bran May Fight Hypertension in Men
Strenuous Daily Workout May Keep Cancer at Bay
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
MENTAL HEALTH
17 Ways to Create the Perfect Workday
Keeping Mentally Active Seems To Keep The Brain Active
Drink Away Dementia?
PAIN
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Acupuncture May Ease Depression During Pregnancy
Music of Mozart Soothes the Preemie Baby
Exercise As Well As Acupuncture, May Ease Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
SENIORS
Tai Chi and Qigong Offer Many Health Benefits: Review
Friends, Not Grandkids, Key to Happy Retirement
Seniors Cope With Sleep Loss Better Than Young Adults
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Woman in America Are Delaying Motherhood, Study Says
A Brisk Pace May Keep Stroke at Bay
Bitter Melon Extract May Slow, Stop Breast Cancer
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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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