Quality & Patient Safety

UK: Patient safety organization urges review after widespread laxative use errors

Patient Safety Staff Challenge: Global Edition, March 3, 2009

The National Patient Safety Foundation (NPSF) has urged all National Health System (NHS) and independent healthcare organizations in Wales and England to review their current practice for the administration and use of prescribed laxatives prior to bowel surgery or examination, according to Medical News Today.

NPSF requested the review after receiving reports of 218 patient safety incidents and one death involving oral bowel cleansing solutions between November 27, 2003 and January 6, 2009. Ten percent of patients suffered moderate or severe harm, while 90% of patients suffered little or no harm.

According to Medical News Today, Linda Matthew, MD, NPSA’s senior pharmacist, advises all healthcare organizations to review their current practice and says particular importance must be paid to the “provision of information and explanation to patients about their use."

To read the NPSA press release, click here.

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