Intended for healthcare professionals

Letters Parenteral drug errors

Reported error rates are likely to be underestimation

BMJ 2009; 338 doi: (Published 06 May 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;338:b1814
  1. Bryony Dean Franklin, director1,
  2. Katja Taxis, assistant professor of pharmacotherapy and clinical pharmacy2,
  3. Nick Barber, professor of the practice of pharmacy3
  1. 1Centre for Medication and Service Quality, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust/School of Pharmacy, University of London, London
  2. 2Department of Pharmacy, Section of Pharmacotherapy and Pharmaceutical Care, University of Groningen, 9713BV Groningen, Netherlands
  3. 3School of Pharmacy, University of London, London WC1N 1AX
  1. k.taxis{at}

    The reported error rates in Valentin and colleagues’ study on errors in administration of parenteral drugs in intensive care units are likely to underestimate the true incidence of errors.1

    Firstly, errors were identified using self reporting by hospital staff. Only about 1 in 100 prescribing errors and 1 in 1000 administration …

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