A Harvard study reveals that medication errors are common in 50% operations
New Delhi, November 1, 2015: In a new study by Harvard on how often medication errors occur during surgery, researchers report that mistakes were made during almost half of the operations they analyzed. The mistakes included drug labeling errors, incorrect dosing, drug documentation mistakes, and/or failing to treat properly changes in a patient's vital signs during surgery.
The findings stem from the in-house efforts of Boston-based Massachusetts General Hospital to quantify and address drug-error risk during surgery.
The study authors noted that rigorous safety checks commonly in place across many hospital settings are often loosened or bypassed in the surgical environment, when fast-moving events and changing circumstances can require quick decisions and immediate action.
Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee, A. Marthanda Pillai – National President IMA and Padma Shri Awardee Dr. K K Aggarwal, Honorary Secretary General IMA and President HCFI in a joint statement said," The findings of this study are an eye-opener for the medical fraternity, and we must ensure that better checks and measures are in place for towards this. While this study relates to the cases abroad, surgeries errors are common globally due to the fast changing patient parameters in the OT room and need for swift decisions. We believe that if risk calculation and preparedness are done in advance, 80% of these errors can be avoided”.
Towards this cause, the IMA will also be raising awareness and guidelines amongst its 2.5-lakh members across 1700 state branches. The management of various hospitals and surgeons will be made aware of the preventive actions, which they must take before going in for surgery so that errors can be minimized.
A patient's life and safety is of outermost importance, and an effort will be made jointly by the medical fraternity to make India a country with the lowest number of surgery error cases. IMA will also be writing to the original researchers of this study, to share their set of guidelines established towards this cause so that a comprehensive global standard can be created.