Patients at risk from hospital drug errors

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Indy Lifestyle Online

A London teaching hospital made almost 20 errors prescribing drugs every day, a quarter of which were so serious they put patients at risk, a study showed.

A London teaching hospital made almost 20 errors prescribing drugs every day, a quarter of which were so serious they put patients at risk, a study showed.

The hospital is not named in the report of the pilot study, published in Quality and Safety in Health Care, but the authors say they believe it is typical. The errors, revealed during monitoring at the hospital over a four-week period, involved patients receiving the wrong drug or the wrong dose.

American research shows that up to 2 per cent of hospital patients are harmed by drug errors but little research has been done in Britain. Despite the lack of information, the Department of Health has set a target of a 40 per cent cut by 2005 in serious errors.

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