Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:

Practice Safety Alerts

Safer administration of insulin: summary of a safety report from the National Patient Safety Agency

BMJ 2010; 341 doi: (Published 13 October 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;341:c5269

Rapid Response:

Continuation of using 'u' for 'units' when prescribing insulin.

There is no excuse for the continued use of the initial 'u' for
'units' when prescribing insulin. Surely the computer would have stopped
this potentially very serious mistake. I do accept that hand written
scripts occasionally need to be issued in exceptional circumstances but we
doctors must learn to write them correctly.

My solution for erring doctors is a mandatory fine equivalent to two
days wages. A second time would be four days. If it should happen again
then the suitability of that doctor to hold a medical licence should be
weighed. Quite simple but I believe that it will work.

Competing interests: No competing interests

17 November 2010
Melvyn H. Brooks
Family Physician
Tel Shalom, Karkur, Israel 37000