CHANDIGARH: In a PGI intensive care, there were 11% medical prescription errors (MPE). Of these, 3.5% were serious and needed to be managed with treatment, according to a study published in May this year. A total of 138 patients were included in the study.
MPEs were identified if the treatment chart mentioned wrong spelling, wrong dose, wrong route of administration or wrong frequency of administration of a drug.
Of 24,572 drug prescriptions for these patients, 2,624 contained prescription errors, an error rate of 10.7%. On severity analysis, 867 (3.52%) EPMs required interventions and/or resulted in patient harm. About 70% of serious EMPs occurred in the antibiotic group alone. “This is because antibiotics are a commonly prescribed class of drugs and their prescribing is dynamic,” said one of the authors.
Most patients presented with respiratory involvement, followed by central nervous system involvement, intoxication, infections, renal, gastrointestinal, cardiovascular (9), musculoskeletal and endocrinological involvement.
In all intensive care units of the institute, a senior resident writes paper prescriptions. “However, the rate of EMP in our study was low (10.7%), despite our practice of prescribing medications being paper-based. This may be due to prescription writing by a registrar and review by critical care consultants during daily rounds,” the study said.
It was also found that patients with high creatinine were twice as likely to have severe EMP.
The observational study, “Medication Prescription Errors in the Intensive Care Unit: Prospective Observational Study” by Drs. Mandeep Kumar, Neeru Sahni, Nusrat Shafiq and Lakshmi Narayana Yaddanapudi from Departments of Anaesthesiology and Critical Care, Department of Pharmacology, PGI was published in Indian Journal of Critical Care Medicine.