Indian Journal of Critical Care Medicine

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VOLUME 24 , ISSUE 9 ( September, 2020 ) > List of Articles

Original Article

Incidence of Medication Error in Critical Care Unit of a Tertiary Care Hospital: Where Do We Stand?

Bhavika Seta, Sharvari Gholap, Khadija Aurangabadi, Abhijeet M Deshmukh, Prajkta Wankhede, Prasad Suryawanshi, Swapna Vasanth, Mariamma Kurian, Elizabeth Philip, Nirmala Jagtap, Esther Pandit

Citation Information : Seta B, Gholap S, Aurangabadi K, Deshmukh AM, Wankhede P, Suryawanshi P, Vasanth S, Kurian M, Philip E, Jagtap N, Pandit E. Incidence of Medication Error in Critical Care Unit of a Tertiary Care Hospital: Where Do We Stand?. Indian J Crit Care Med 2020; 24 (9):799-803.

DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10071-23556

License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Published Online: 13-01-2021

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2020; The Author(s).


Background: Medication error in developed countries is of primary concern when there is a question of adversity to a patient's health, but in developing countries like India, it is just a term and its significance is undervalued. The incidence of medication error is essential to estimate the proper medical care provided in the healthcare system. Objective: The main objective of the study is to determine the incidences of medication error in critical care unit and to evaluate its risk outcomes. Materials and methods: This is a prospective observational study conducted over a period of 6 months in a critical care unit of a tertiary care hospital. Medication chart review method was opted for data collection. The medication errors were mainly classified as prescription, transcription, indenting, dispensing, and administration error. A total of 6,705 charts were reviewed. The NCCMERP risk index was used to evaluate the outcome of errors. Results: Of the total 6,705 charts, 410 medication errors were found, i.e., 6.11%. The most common error is transcription error that constitutes 44.1% of the total errors, followed by prescription error 40%, and administration error 14%. The frequency of indenting and dispensing errors is negligible with 1.5% and 0.5%, respectively. The main causes of medication errors are due to incomplete prescription 50.2% and wrong doses 22.9%. In drug class, antibiotics and antihypertensive agents are most prone to medication error. About 87.1% errors belonged to the Category B of National Coordinating Council for Medication Error Reporting and Prevention risk index. Conclusion: Majority of the errors are transcription errors followed by prescription and administration errors. Consultant doctors have to be more vigilant during prescribing and verifying the medication charts. Clinical pharmacists should act as a checkpoint at each step of medication process to identify and prevent medication errors.

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