Inadvertent inhalation anaesthesia during surgery under retrobulbar eye block. (1/1033)

I describe a case of inadvertent inhalation anaesthesia during surgery under retrobulbar anaesthesia and its management. Some of the hazards of supplementary oxygen delivery during monitored anaesthetic care and the actions taken to prevent this mishap recurring are discussed.  (+info)

Complications after carotid endarterectomy are related to surgical errors in less than one-fifth of cases. Swedvasc--The Swedish Vascular Registry and The Quality Committee for Carotid Artery Surgery. (2/1033)

OBJECTIVES: to study possible relations between indications, contraindications and surgical technique and stroke and/or death within 30 days of carotid endarterectomy (CEA). DESIGN: analysis of hospital records for patients identified in a national vascular registry. METHOD: during 1995-1996, 1518 patients were reported to the Swedish Vascular Registry - Swedvasc. Among these the sixty-five with a stroke and/or death within 30 days were selected for study. Complete surgical records were reviewed by three approved reviewers using predetermined criteria for indications and possible errors. RESULTS: an error of surgical technique or postoperative management was found in eleven patients (17%). In six cases (9%) the indication was inappropriate or there was an obvious contraindication. The indication was questionable in fourteen (21.5%). Half of the patients (52.5%) had surgery for an appropriate indication, and no contraindication or error in surgical technique or management was identified. CONCLUSION: more than half the complications of CEA represent the "method cost", i.e. the indication, risk and surgical technique were correct. However, the stroke and/or death rate might be reduced if all operations conformed to agreed criteria.  (+info)

Serious hazards of transfusion (SHOT) initiative: analysis of the first two annual reports. (3/1033)

OBJECTIVE: To receive and collate reports of death or major complications of transfusion of blood or components. DESIGN: Haematologists were invited confidentially to report deaths and major complications after blood transfusion during October 1996 to September 1998. SETTING: Hospitals in United Kingdom and Ireland. SUBJECTS: Patients who died or experienced serious complications, as defined below, associated with transfusion of red cells, platelets, fresh frozen plasma, or cryoprecipitate. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Death, "wrong" blood transfused to patient, acute and delayed transfusion reactions, transfusion related acute lung injury, transfusion associated graft versus host disease, post-transfusion purpura, and infection transmitted by transfusion. Circumstances relating to these cases and relative frequency of complications. RESULTS: Over 24 months, 366 cases were reported, of which 191 (52%) were "wrong blood to patient" episodes. Analysis of these revealed multiple errors of identification, often beginning when blood was collected from the blood bank. There were 22 deaths from all causes, including three from ABO incompatibility. There were 12 infections: four bacterial (one fatal), seven viral, and one fatal case of malaria. During the second 12 months, 164/424 hospitals (39%) submitted a "nil to report" return. CONCLUSIONS: Transfusion is now extremely safe, but vigilance is needed to ensure correct identification of blood and patient. Staff education should include awareness of ABO incompatibility and bacterial contamination as causes of life threatening reactions to blood.  (+info)

Notification of real-time clinical alerts generated by pharmacy expert systems. (4/1033)

We developed and implemented a strategy for notifying clinical pharmacists of alerts generated in real-time by two pharmacy expert systems: one for drug dosing and the other for adverse drug event prevention. Display pagers were selected as the preferred notification method and a concise, yet readable, format for displaying alert data was developed. This combination of real-time alert generation and notification via display pagers was shown to be efficient and effective in a 30-day trial.  (+info)

Impact of guidelines implemented in a paris university hospital: application to the use of antiemetics by cancer patients. (5/1033)

AIMS: To assess the impact with time of guidelines on antiemetic use in an 850-bed Paris university hospital with a high proportion of cancer patients. METHODS: Guidelines on the use of antiemetics available in cancer chemotherapy were drafted according to the Delphi technique. Their implementation was based upon a patient-specific antiemetic prescription form. To assess the impact of guideline implementation over time, discrepancies between current practice and the guidelines were compared before guideline implementation (between March and August 1995) and after implementation (between March and August 1997, and March and August 1998). RESULTS: Before the Delphi panel's guidelines were implemented, 5-HT3 antagonists were inappropriately administered in 70% of cases. After guideline implementation, this proportion dropped significantly (P<0.0001, Fisher's exact test) to 22% between March and August 1997 and 28% between March and August 1998. CONCLUSIONS: Implementation of guidelines seems to have resulted in significant changes with time, although a causal relationship has not been demonstrated. The development of guidelines by our hospital's multidisciplinary working group helped the various consultants to adjust medical practices to take account of these changes.  (+info)

Extent and determinants of error in doctors' prognoses in terminally ill patients: prospective cohort study. (6/1033)

OBJECTIVE: To describe doctors' prognostic accuracy in terminally ill patients and to evaluate the determinants of that accuracy. DESIGN: Prospective cohort study. SETTING: Five outpatient hospice programmes in Chicago. PARTICIPANTS: 343 doctors provided survival estimates for 468 terminally ill patients at the time of hospice referral. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Patients' estimated and actual survival. RESULTS: Median survival was 24 days. Only 20% (92/468) of predictions were accurate (within 33% of actual survival); 63% (295/468) were overoptimistic and 17% (81/468) were overpessimistic. Overall, doctors overestimated survival by a factor of 5.3. Few patient or doctor characteristics were associated with prognostic accuracy. Male patients were 58% less likely to have overpessimistic predictions. Non-oncology medical specialists were 326% more likely than general internists to make overpessimistic predictions. Doctors in the upper quartile of practice experience were the most accurate. As duration of doctor-patient relationship increased and time since last contact decreased, prognostic accuracy decreased. CONCLUSION: Doctors are inaccurate in their prognoses for terminally ill patients and the error is systematically optimistic. The inaccuracy is, in general, not restricted to certain kinds of doctors or patients. These phenomena may be adversely affecting the quality of care given to patients near the end of life.  (+info)

Reducing errors made by emergency physicians in interpreting radiographs: longitudinal study. (7/1033)

OBJECTIVES: To reduce errors made in the interpretation of radiographs in an emergency department. DESIGN: Longitudinal study. SETTING: Hospital emergency department. INTERVENTIONS: All staff reviewed all clinically significant discrepancies at monthly meetings. A file of clinically significant errors was created; the file was used for teaching. Later a team redesigned the process. A system was developed for interpreting radiographs that would be followed regardless of the day of the week or time of day. All standard radiographs were brought directly to the emergency physician for immediate interpretation. Radiologists reviewed the films within 12 hours as a quality control measure, and if a significant misinterpretation was found patients were asked to return. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Reduction in number of clinically significant errors (such as missed fractures or foreign bodies) on radiographs read in the emergency department. Data on the error rate for radiologists and the effect of the recall procedure were not available so reliability modelling was used to assess the effect of these on overall safety. RESULTS: After the initial improvements the rate of false negative errors fell from 3% (95% confidence interval 2.8% to 3.2%) to 1.2% (1.03% to 1.37%). After the processes were redesigned it fell further to 0.3% (0.26% to 0.34%). Reliability modelling showed that the number of potential adverse effects per 1000 cases fell from 19 before the improvements to 3 afterwards and unmitigated adverse effects fell from 2.2/1000 before to 0.16/1000 afterwards, assuming 95% success in calling patients back. CONCLUSION: Systems of radiograph interpretation that optimise the skills of all clinicians involved and contain reliable processes for mitigating errors can reduce error rates substantially.  (+info)

Incidence and types of preventable adverse events in elderly patients: population based review of medical records. (8/1033)

OBJECTIVE: To determine the incidence and types of preventable adverse events in elderly patients. DESIGN: Review of random sample of medical records in two stage process by nurses and physicians to detect adverse events. Two study investigators then judged preventability. SETTING: Hospitals in US states of Utah and Colorado, excluding psychiatric and Veterans Administration hospitals. SUBJECTS: 15 000 hospitalised patients discharged in 1992. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Incidence of preventable adverse events (number of preventable events per 100 discharges) in elderly patients (>/=65 years old) and non-elderly patients (16-64 years). RESULTS: When results were extrapolated to represent all discharges in 1992 in both states, non-elderly patients had 8901 adverse events (incidence 2.80% (SE 0.18%)) compared with 7419 (5.29% (0.37%)) among elderly patients (P=0.001). Non-elderly patients had 5038 preventable adverse events (incidence 1.58% (0.14%)) compared with 4134 (2.95% (0.28%)) in elderly patients (P=0.001). Elderly patients had a higher incidence of preventable events related to medical procedures (such as thoracentesis, cardiac catheterisation) (0.69% (0.14%) v 0.13% (0.04%)), preventable adverse drug events (0.63% (0.14%) v 0.17% (0.05%)), and preventable falls (0.10% (0.06%) v 0.01% (0.02%)). In multivariate analyses, adjusted for comorbid illnesses and case mix, age was not an independent predictor of preventable adverse events. CONCLUSIONS: Preventable adverse events were more common among elderly patients, probably because of the clinical complexity of their care rather than age based discrimination. Preventable adverse drug events, events related to medical procedures, and falls were especially common in elderly patients and should be targets for efforts to prevent errors.  (+info)