|Overdose of intravenous paracetamol in infants and children||10362||NPSA047||10/29/2010 6:00:00 AM||Medication||National Health Service Commissioning Board (England and Wales)||This signal address the risk of harm to infants and children from inadvertent overdose of intravenous paracetamol / acetaminophen and provides some actions to reduce risk. One patient safety incident is described whereby the healthcare provider intended to give a dose of paracetamol 10 mg/kg intravenously (IV) but gave 100 mg/kg instead. A doctor was summoned immediately and the overdose was treated. Treatment consisted of HDU (high dependency unit) level monitoring, acetylcysteine (Parvolex®) infusion and monitoring of blood tests.
Contributing factors to paracetamol overdoses include:
- lack of awareness amongst healthcare professionals of neonatal and paediatric drug dosage regimens;
- patients receiving doses of paracetamol in both theatre and ward due to poor documentation;
- human error relating to setting up infusion pumps to administer intravenous paracetamol (incorrect rate or incorrect/ no volume to
be infused (VTBI));
- confusion between dosing regimens for oral and intravenous paracetamol with clinical staff believing they are interchangeable;
- 10 times dose calculation errors in both the prescription and administration of intravenous paracetamol.
Brief actions to reduce risk are provided and further guidance can be found on the MHRA Website. ||7/7/2015 9:22:43 AM||3||http://www.patientsafetyinstitute.ca/en/NewsAlerts/Alerts/Lists/Alerts/AllItems.aspx||False|
|Class III Obese Patients: The Effect of Gait and Immobility on Patient Falls||10640||3100||9/1/2013 6:00:00 AM||Falls||Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority (USA)||This alert discusses the patient safety incidents that occur with Class III obese patients who have gait and immobility issues. Class III obese patients are identified as having a body mass index (BMI) greater than 40 or weighing 100 pounds or greater than their ideal body weight.||7/27/2015 11:03:22 AM||7||http://www.patientsafetyinstitute.ca/en/NewsAlerts/Alerts/Lists/Alerts/AllItems.aspx||False|
|Aspirin for the Prophylaxis of Venous Thromboembolic Events – To Use or Not To Use||10766||3238||5/30/2014 6:00:00 AM||Surgery||Oregon Patient Safety Commission (USA)||This alert discusses the prevention of patient safety incidents of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or venous thromboembolism (VTE) in orthopedic surgery with the use of acetylsalicylic acid (Aspirin®).
Guidelines from both the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS) in 2011 and the American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP) in 2012 addressed the use of Aspirin®and other prophylactic measures. Additionally, the Surgical Care Improvement Project (SCIP) has recently included Aspirin® to the list of pharmacological prophylaxis choices for preventing DVTs as of January 1, 2014. Although the evidence has not demonstrated a consistent benefit in the reduction of VTE after total knee arthroplasty, total hip arthroplasty, or hip fracture surgery in patients receiving Aspirin® and recent clinical trials have not shown a decreased risk of bleeding from Aspirin® compared to other anticoagulants, pharmacologic prophylaxis that may include Aspirin® should be considered for the prevention of DVT/VTE in orthopedic surgery to assure safe and highly reliable care.
A recommendation is made to develop a VTE prevention standard and identifies necessary parameters.||7/22/2015 5:52:07 PM||6||http://www.patientsafetyinstitute.ca/en/NewsAlerts/Alerts/Lists/Alerts/AllItems.aspx||False|
|Quarterly Update on Wrong-Site Surgery: How to Do an Effective Time-Out in the Dark||10775||3230||6/1/2014 6:00:00 AM||Surgery||Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority (USA)||This update includes a quarterly update of the reports of wrong-site surgery in Pennsylvania and a failure mode and effects analysis of time-outs for laser procedures on eyes.
There were 10 reports of wrong-site surgery in Pennsylvania operating rooms (ORs) during the first quarter of 2014, the third consecutive quarter of the academic year with 10 reports. Anesthetic blocks administered at the wrong location continue to be the most common wrong-site procedure reported from Pennsylvania operating suites. Two reports of stents placed in the wrong ureter were added to the 19 prior reports. For the eighth time in 10 years, a report was received that a surgeon made an incision for a carpal tunnel release on a patient who was to have a trigger finger release. Incorrect or inadequate information received from the surgeon’s office with respect to the OR schedule or consent accounted for 9% of all wrong-site surgical procedures— 1 out every 11. Consents continue to be obtained with incorrect or missing laterality. The wrong charts sometimes accompanied the patients. Late changes in plans continue to result in misinformation when all possible sources of information are not uniformly updated. Marking of the site without prior reconciliation of the supporting documents and correction of the latter in a timely manner contributed to a patient safety incident. The white board in the OR was a source of incorrect information according to one report. Descriptions of patient safety incidents of each type of wrong-site surgery are provided as well as recommendations to prevent the category of incidents described.
The alert also discusses the use of a time-out in an ambulatory surgical facility involving laser eye surgery. Laser eye procedures are done in a room that is dark, with only one room light. In the facility observed, the one light was recessed in the ceiling and is on a dimmer switch managed by the nurse and adjusted to the surgeon’s preference. The patient’s chin and forehead rest against the laser machine, which blocks the face and makes it impossible to see the site marking. Despite the challenges, a successful time-out was still possible. The alert provides recommendations for a time-out in laser eye surgery.||7/22/2015 5:52:07 PM||3||http://www.patientsafetyinstitute.ca/en/NewsAlerts/Alerts/Lists/Alerts/AllItems.aspx||False|
|Distractions in the Operating Room||10779||3226||6/1/2014 6:00:00 AM||Surgery||Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority (USA)||This alert discusses the patient safety incidents that can occur in the operating room due to distractions and/or interruptions related to human communication, equipment such as surgical alarms or technology (e.g. phone calls, pagers).
Distraction is a threat to patient safety in the operating room (OR). Analysis of events reported through the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Reporting System from January 2010 through May 2013 revealed 304 reports of events occurring in the OR in which distractions and/or interruptions were indicated as contributing factors. Attention is warranted to all events impacted by distraction in the OR regardless of frequency, due to their high potential to result in serious patient harm. Distraction is particularly detrimental to performance of complex tasks that require higher levels of cognitive processing, such as those frequently encountered in the OR.
With regard to case-irrelevant communications (CICs), defined as communication not relevant to the surgical procedure in progress. Half of all CICs consisted of “small talk.” Although surgeons initiated and received the greatest number of CICs, visitors to the OR (defined as external staff not belonging to the OR team involved in the current surgical procedure) initiated CICs with the highest levels of observable distraction (i.e., causing team members to pause, disrupting workflow). Communications directed to nurses and anesthesia providers resulted in higher levels of distraction than communications directed to surgeons.
Distraction from computers and personal electronic devices (PEDs) is also a growing concern for OR teams. The widespread use of computers in clinical settings, along with the recent rapid growth in the use of cell phones and smartphones, has contributed to a heightened focus on the potential for error and harm caused by distractions that result from the use of these devices, particularly within the OR environment. “Distracted doctoring” is a term coined by the media to describe this phenomenon. Distraction from smartphones and other mobile devices was identified as one of the top 10 health technology hazards for 2013 by ECRI Institute.
The following are examples of Serious Events (i.e., events involving patient harm) reported and
associated with distraction in the OR:
—— Wrong-side surgery
—— Wrong-site surgery
—— Transfusion of the wrong blood to the wrong patient
—— Failure to remove a piece of resected bowel, requiring a return to the OR
—— Injection of a patient using an unlabeled syringe and needle previously used on another patient
—— Failure to notice a significant loss of evoked potential from a patient’s arm during spinal surgery
—— Inflation of a tourniquet applied to a patient’s leg for longer than intended, resulting in neurovascular changes
Studies examining the impact of distraction in the OR setting, along with guidelines and tools developed by perioperative professional associations and patient safety agencies to limit and/or ameliorate the negative impact of distraction are discussed (e.g., application of the “sterile cockpit” concept from aviation, reducing distractions from technology and noise, use of surgical safety checklists and briefings, teamwork training). Engagement of surgeons and multidisciplinary teams is necessary to address the problem of distractions in the OR.||7/22/2015 5:51:59 PM||6||http://www.patientsafetyinstitute.ca/en/NewsAlerts/Alerts/Lists/Alerts/AllItems.aspx||False|
|Peripheral Vascular Catheter–Related Infection: Dwelling on Dwell Time||10781||3224||3/1/2014 7:00:00 AM||Infection Control||Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority (USA)||This alert discusses the patient safety incidents of infection in patients with a peripheral intravenous catheter.
Current recommendations for prevention of vascular catheter related infection allow for the catheter to be left in place for 72 hours or until clinical indications for removal are manifested. The Pennsylvania Patient Safety Reporting System and the National Healthcare Safety Network were searched for evidence related to the prevalence of peripheral intravenous catheter infection–related bacteremia and the related time frame of infection development. Focusing on Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) primary bloodstream infection (BSI) as a surrogate for the detection of peripheral intravenous catheter–related infection, there was an significant increase in primary BSIs 72 hours post-admission. S. aureus is the second most common cause of hospital-acquired BSI, and it has been estimated that as many as 76% of hospitalized adult inpatients have a PVC. Due to the high incidence in which peripheral catheters are used when caring for inpatients, complications like bacteremia may contribute substantially to yearly hospital-acquired infections.
This alert challenges the recommendations based on review of bacteriemia associated with peripheral IV catheters both from an infection and cost control perspective. From an infection control standpoint, waiting for a clinical indication of infection to re-site may place the patient in a position for the development of bacteremia due to prolonged dwell times. Re-siting at 72 hours may reduce peripheral vascular catheter-related infection (PVCRI) risk, and a comprehensive approach to PVC care (including use of best practices for insertion, maintenance, and monitoring) is fundamental for the development of a peripheral vascular catheter (PVC) care program. Furthermore, re-siting of PVCs inserted in the field or emergency department, avoiding the antecubital fossa, and limiting dwell time (daily review of necessity) may help prevent PVCRI even further. In assessing cost effectiveness of not replacing the PVC every 72 hours and based on an average length of stay of 5.4 days, the argument of cost savings related to abandoning scheduled replacement of PVCs does not add up.
The data, at least in Pennsylvania, seems to indicate that patients are at risk for PVC related bacteremia after a PVC is in place past the 72-hour mark.
Recommendations for infection reduction for the adult patient with a peripheral intravenous catheter are provided.||7/7/2015 9:11:36 AM||6||http://www.patientsafetyinstitute.ca/en/NewsAlerts/Alerts/Lists/Alerts/AllItems.aspx||False|
|The Use of Patient Sitters to Reduce Falls: Best Practices ||10782||3223||3/1/2014 7:00:00 AM||Falls||Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority (USA)||This alert discusses the prevention of falls in high risk patients through the use of patient sitters. Patient sitters (also called patient safety assistants, companions, and one-to-one or constant observers) are staff or volunteers assigned to provide direct observation of patients at risk to harm themselves or others. Patient sitters are used in a variety of care settings, including for patients who are assessed to be at high risk for a fall; in psychiatric crisis, including those who have attempted suicide or with suicidal ideation, or at risk for harming others; substance-abusing with behavioral problems; or experiencing delirium, confusion, or agitation.
Using patient sitters to directly observe patients at high risk for falls is a practice suggested as part of several evidence-based falls prevention guidelines. However, the clinical and cost-effectiveness of sitter programs has been questioned. Analysis of data from 75 hospitals participating in the Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania Hospital Engagement Network Falls Reduction and Prevention Collaboration revealed a statistically significant correlation (p < 0.05) between low rates of falls with harm and the use of sitter programs. A statistically significant correlation (p < 0.05) was also identified between low rates of falls with harm and three specific sitter program design elements: defining criteria for sitter qualifications, providing a training program for sitters, and establishing a pool of sitters. Analysis of falls reported to the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority by hospitals from across the commonwealth in which sitters were identified as being present at the time of the fall suggests that the use of sitters may be associated with a higher percentage of assisted falls and a lower rate of falls with harm. A review of the literature exploring the use of sitters as part of falls prevention programs, along with suggested strategies for sitter program design, are presented. A tool is provided to help hospitals make the business case for implementing and maintaining a sitter program.
To off-set the cost of patient sitters, three scenarios are presented as options. One facility used psychiatric liaison nurses who acted as consultants for medical patient care areas in the use of patient sitters. Another hospital established safe units where patients who required frequent or constant observation were placed. Newly hired employees are required to attend an eight-hour SAFE class and were called a “constant observer” or “therapeutic companion,” since their roles were viewed as more active than just sitting with a patient. The third facility created a patient safety assistant position whose responsibilities were broader in scope than a patient sitter and included things like restocking supplies for the department, delivering specimens to the lab, transporting patients, and responding to call bells.
Patient sitters are one of many interventions that facilities can use to reduce falls. When implementing a patient sitter program, hospitals are encouraged to incorporate specific best practices in sitter program design. To structure patient sitter programs, hospitals can engage in strategies found to be successful in reducing falls and controlling costs in other organizations. The cost savings achieved in decreasing rates of falls with harm, both in terms of money saved and decreased severity of injury, may justify the costs associated with implementing and maintaining a sitter program.
Recommendations for the design of sitter programs are provided.||7/27/2015 11:04:02 AM||17||http://www.patientsafetyinstitute.ca/en/NewsAlerts/Alerts/Lists/Alerts/AllItems.aspx||False|
|FALLS||10790||3217||1/1/2014 7:00:00 AM||Falls||Minnesota Hospital Association and Minnesota Department of Health (USA)||This alert provides an update of the progress of preventing patient safety incidents of falls in Minnesota.
In 2013, hospitals reported 81 falls that resulted in serious disability or death, an increase of three percent from the previous year. Ten patients died from injuries associated with their falls, an increase of one from the previous year. Overall, the most common serious injury sustained during a fall was a lower extremity fracture (most commonly leg or ankle fractures) making up 43 percent of the serious disabilities. Hip fractures, head injuries and upper extremity injuries accounted for an additional 54 percent of injuries.
Injury risk factors for falls have been identified as patient age greater than 85, bone issues such as osteoporosis, if a patient is on anticoagulant therapy, and whether the patient is post-surgical. 69 percent of patients who were seriously injured from a fall had at least one injury risk factor and 90 percent of patients who died from those injuries had at least one injury risk factor. This leads to the conclusion that not only fall risk is important to assess, but injury risk as well.
Two thirds of all patients who fell and sustained a serious injury were assessed to be at risk for falls and therefore should have had fall and injury prevention interventions in place. However, only 34 percent of patients were placed on a hi/low bed to keep them closer to the floor and in none of the 81 reported falls was there a floor mat in place to prevent fall related injury.
Last year, falls occurring in treatment settings for behavioral health had nearly doubled. This year, more than 40 percent of falls were toileting related, most often occurring when a patient got up to use the toilet on their own without assistance. A quarter of all falls with serious disability or death occurred two days or less from the date of anticipated discharge. This may be attributed to the patients feeling better and stronger and overestimating their strength and balance, which can lead to a fall.
Preventing falls will focus on injury risk screening and assessment and ensuring interventions to prevent falls or fall injuries are in place as well as to identify key interventions to prevent falls in the older adult population.||7/27/2015 11:03:52 AM||4||http://www.patientsafetyinstitute.ca/en/NewsAlerts/Alerts/Lists/Alerts/AllItems.aspx||False|
|Correct Usage of Fume/Vapour Soaking Solutions||10877||3133||1/20/2014 7:00:00 AM||Infection Control||New South Wales Department of Health (Australia)||This Safety Information provides advice to health services of the functional limitations of fume/vapour soaking stations (such as the GUS® System).
Fume/vapour soaking stations facilitate the immersion of reusable medical devices such as flexible endoscopes and/or sonographic devices to bring them into contact with a liquid chemical disinfectant and eliminate fumes associated with approved liquid chemical disinfectants used in reprocessing.
The high level disinfection occurs through the action of the active ingredient. Manufacturers’ instructions for the use of the fume/vapour soaking station and the active ingredient must be followed as well as any relevant work, health and safety instructions.
Recommendations to minimize risk and prevent patient and staff safety incidents when using fume/vapour soaking stations are provided.||7/7/2015 9:11:37 AM||8||http://www.patientsafetyinstitute.ca/en/NewsAlerts/Alerts/Lists/Alerts/AllItems.aspx||False|
|Use of Impregnated Chemical Disinfectant Wipe Systems for Reusable Medical Devices||10878||3132||1/24/2014 7:00:00 AM||Infection Control||New South Wales Department of Health (Australia)||This Safety Notice provides advice and direction to health services in the use of Impregnated Chemical Disinfection Wipe Systems, using active ingredients such as isopropryl alcohol, chlorhexidine gluconate, chlorine dioxide and dimethyl oxazolidine, for high-level disinfection of non-lumened reusable medical devices (RMD).
Some wipes are used in high-level disinfection of non-lumened medical devices - including nasendoscopes; transoesophageal cardio probes; trans-vaginal and trans-rectal ultrasound transducers; GI high resolution manometry catheters; and ophthalmic devices - that cannot be fully immersed in liquid disinfectant or sterilants and cannot be sterilised by heat.
The wipes with the active ingredients listed above are not intended for use on critical medical devices which must be sterilised prior to use on a patient.
Unlike automated reprocessing systems which have a measured dosage of chemistry and a validated reprocess cycle, impregnated chemical disinfection wipe systems rely on the manual (human) process of applying each wipe in the recommended sequence. This assumes that each and every part of the device has been contacted consistently for the specified period of time. The devices for which impregnated chemical disinfection wipe systems are intended are not easily stabilised aseptically, which makes it very difficult to ensure and verify that all parts of the device have been contacted by the disinfecting agent consistently at the required concentration for the required time.
Recommendations to minimize risk of incomplete disinfection are provided to prevent patient safety incidents.||7/7/2015 9:11:37 AM||10||http://www.patientsafetyinstitute.ca/en/NewsAlerts/Alerts/Lists/Alerts/AllItems.aspx||False|