Intended for healthcare professionals


Errors in administration of intravenous drugs

BMJ 1995; 310 doi: (Published 10 June 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;310:1536
  1. M C B O'Hare,
  2. A M Bradley,
  3. T Gallagher,
  4. M D Shields
  1. Research pharmacist Pharmacist Royal Hospitals, Belfast BT12 6BE
  2. Consultant anaesthetist Consultant paediatrician Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children, Belfast

    EDITOR,—An audit to identify the type, rate, and potential severity of errors associated with medical and nursing staff administering intravenous drugs was carried out at the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children over a four week period.

    The disguised observation technique was used, whereby the observer accompanied the person involved in preparing and giving each dose.1 The errors were classified as incorrect administration rate and time (>30 minutes from the prescribed time) and as incorrect diluent or volume, …

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