Incidence of Intravenous Medication Errors in a South Indian Tertiary Care Hospital

Background: The use of medications in the hospital is a complex process which is dependent on the successful interaction of the health care professionals. Intravenous medication errors are one such which compromise patient confidence in the health-care system, increase health-care costs and has high incidence but limited evidence. Objective: The study reports the incidence of intravenous errors in preparation and administration. Specifically, the study was done to explore and measure the frequency of IV medication errors by direct observation and identify clues to their causes. Methodology: The study design is a prospective observational study which enrolls patients given intravenous therapy in the department of general medicine and ICUs in a tertiary care hospital. Error categories were categorized and the error rate of drug classes was measured. Results: In a period of 6 months, 161 (N) samples were observed. Five error types (improper aseptic conditions, wrong diluents, improper mixing, wrong dose/volume, and wrong time) accounted for 78.88% of errors. Improper aseptic conditions were the most frequent and accounted for 39.13%. The least type of errors was the wrong dose of errors-7.45%. The other categories wrong diluents, improper mixing and wrong time accounted for 9.93%.10.55%
13.04% respectively. Conclusion: This study found a high rate of intravenous medication errors of moderate significance. Changes in practice should be considered to make intravenous therapy safer for patients. The findings of this study suggest that it is necessary to engage pharmacists in IV dose preparation and administration. Keywords: Observational method, intravenous, prospective, medication error