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Found 66 results
  1. News Article
    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention alerted doctors nationwide Monday about a limited availability of certain doses of a newly approved antibody drug given to infants to prevent RSV infection. Cases of RSV, or respiratory syncytial virus, have started to rise as cold and flu season begins. "RSV season is here," said Dr. Buddy Creech, a pediatric infectious disease doctor at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee. "We are seeing a substantial increase in the amount of RSV such that in many areas, it has become the most commonly identified respiratory virus causing disease in children. "This is one of the reasons why there's probably a lot of scrambling going on," he said, "to identify those babies at highest risk and to try to prioritize them, since it's such a limited resource right now." Read full story Source: NBC News, 23 October 2023
  2. News Article
    Two healthcare workers who exchanged vile texts while needless drugging sick people to ‘keep them quiet’ have been found guilty of ill-treating patients. Senior nurse Catherine Hudson, 54, was found to have regularly tranquillised patients unnecessarily for her own amusement and to have an ‘easy’ shift. While Charlotte Wilmot, 48, an assistant practitioner, wrote vile texts encouraging her to carry out the dangerous acts, with complete disregard for the consequences. Preston Crown Court heard the pair worked on the stroke unit at Blackpool Victoria Hospital and had carried out needless sedations between 2017 and 2018. Restrictions on prescription drugs were so lax in the stroke unit that staff would help themselves and self-medicate or steal drugs to supply to others, the court heard. Drugs such as Zopiclone, a powerful medicine used to treat insomnia, were often stolen and used to drug multiple patients. Police launched an investigation in November 2018 after a student nurse raised concerns about the treatment of patients in the stroke unit. A number of staff members were arrested during the course of the investigation and their mobile devices were seized. Read full story Source: The Independent, 6 October 2023
  3. News Article
    In an unprecedented murder case in the United States about end-of-life care, a physician accused of killing 14 critically ill patients with opioid overdoses in a Columbus, Ohio hospital ICU over a period of 4 years was found not guilty by a jury Wednesday. The jury, after a 7-week trial featuring more than 50 witnesses in the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas, declared William Huse not guilty on 14 counts of murder and attempted murder. In a news conference after the verdict was announced, lead defense attorney Jose Baez said Husel, whom he called a "great doctor," hopes to practice medicine again in the future. The verdict, he argued, offers an encouraging sign that physicians and other providers won't face prosecution for providing "comfort care" to patients suffering pain. "They don't need to be looking over their shoulders worrying about whether they'll get charged with crimes," he said. The trial raised the specific issue of what constitutes a medically justifiable dose of opioid painkillers during the end-of-life procedure known as palliative extubation, in which critically ill patients are withdrawn from the ventilator when they are expected to die. Under medicine's so-called double-effect principle, physicians must weigh the benefits and risks of ordering potentially lethal doses of painkillers and sedatives to provide comfort care for critically ill patients. To many observers, however, the case really centered on the largely hidden debate over whether it's acceptable to hasten the deaths of dying patients who haven't chosen that path. That's called euthanasia, which is illegal in the United States. In contrast, 10 states plus the District of Columbia allow physicians to prescribe lethal drugs to terminally ill, mentally competent adults who can self-administer them. That's called medical aid in dying, or physician-assisted dying or suicide. Read full story Source: Medscape, 27 April 2022
  4. News Article
    A group of potent synthetic opioids called nitazenes have been linked to a rise in overdoses and deaths in people who use drugs, primarily heroin, in England over the past two months, drug regulators have warned. The Office for Health Improvements and Disparities has issued a National Patient Safety Alert on potent synthetic opioids implicated in heroin overdoses and deaths. In the past 8 weeks there has been an elevated number of overdoses (with some deaths) in people who use drugs, primarily heroin, in many parts of the country (reports are geographically widespread, with most regions affected but only a few cities or towns in each region). Testing in some of these cases has found nitazenes, a group of potent synthetic opioids. Nitazenes have been identified previously in this country, but their use has been more common in the USA. Their potency and toxicity are uncertain but perhaps similar to, or more than fentanyl, which is about 100x morphine. The National Patient Safety Alert provides further background and clinical information and actions for providers.
  5. News Article
    Coroners have raised multiple warnings about the way a commonly-used medication is being prescribed to at-risk patients, HSJ has found. HSJ has identified at least nine ‘prevention of future deaths’ reports issued by coroners since 2017 which highlighted the way the deceased’s prescription for sertraline was handled, with two of these issued since the start of 2023. It comes as Open Prescribing data suggests sertraline prescriptions have increased by almost 40 per cent since 2019, which has led to concerns that GPs are struggling to meet the growing demand for follow-up checks. Read full story Source: HSJ, 9 August 2023
  6. News Article
    About one in seven people in the UK now take medication to treat depression but some say they are not being given appropriate advice about the potential side-effects of the drugs they have been prescribed. Seonaid Stallan's son Dylan was a teenager when he began receiving treatment for body dysmorphia and depression. "He was struggling with the way he felt about himself, the way he looked," Seonaid said. "He was extremely anxious. He would be physically sick. He would be unable to leave the house." Dylan, from Glasgow, was treated with the antidepressant Fluoxetine from the age of 16. But when he turned 18, his medication was changed to Sertraline. Within two months of his prescription change he had taken his own life. Read full story Source: BBC, 9 August 2023
  7. News Article
    Only a quarter of patients on valproate, who do not have appropriate contraception, are being referred by their pharmacist to their GP or a specialist about the issue, an audit carried out by NHS England has found. A report on the 2019/2020 Pharmacy Quality Scheme Valproate Audit — which was carried out in community pharmacies across England — published on 11 August 2022, has indicated that the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency’s (MHRA’s) safety requirements for use of valproate in women and girls of childbearing age, and trans men who are biologically able to be pregnant, are “still not being fully met”. Since 2018, the MHRA has advised that valproate, a treatment for epilepsy and bipolar disorder, must not be used in anyone of childbearing potential, unless a Pregnancy Prevention Plan (PPP) is in place. As part of a PPP, pharmacists are required to remind patients of the risks of taking sodium valproate in pregnancy and the need for highly effective contraception; ensure patients have been given the patient guide; and remind patients of the need for an annual specialist review. However, the audit, which was conducted by 10,293 community pharmacies in England, including responses from 12,068 patients and patient representatives, found that pharmacists were not referring or signposting “a sizeable minority”, who appeared to be without appropriate contraception, back to the prescriber. The report said that community pharmacists should refer “all people aged 12–55 who are biologically able to be pregnant and have not had their valproate medication reviewed within the last 12 months to their GP or specialist, as well as to local contraception services as appropriate”. For patients not referred to their GP or specialist, the report said that the pharmacist should be able to confirm that the patient is fully informed, understands the risks of not using highly effective contraception and knows who to contact if their circumstances change. Read full story Source: The Pharmaceutical Journal, 12 August 2022
  8. News Article
    A shortage of some medicines is putting patients at risk, pharmacists have warned. A poll of 1,562 UK pharmacists for the Pharmaceutical Journal found more than half (54%) believed patients had been put at risk in the past six months due to shortages. A number of patients have been facing difficulties accessing some medicines in recent months, sometimes having to go to multiple pharmacies to find their prescription or needing to go back to their GP to be prescribed an alternative. Since June, the government has issued a number of "medicine supply notifications", which highlight shortages. Some of these include: pain relief drugs used in childbirth; mouth ulcer medication; migraine treatment; an antihistamine; a drug used by prostate cancer and endomitosis patients; an antipsychotic drug used among bipolar disorder and schizophrenia patients; a type of inhaler and a certain brand of insulin. Read full story Source Sky News, 11August 2022
  9. News Article
    Phrases such as “cutting edge,” “game changing,” and “ground breaking” have no place in the description of new drugs by the government and NHS agencies, a therapeutics specialist and GP has warned. James Cave, editor in chief of the Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin (DTB), said in an editorial1 that the degree of hyperbole and omission of important information in government press releases and media statements “leaves patients and healthcare professionals with a limited and unbalanced view of a medicine.” In a letter to the heads of NHS England, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), and the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) he referred to a loss of objectivity in statements about new drugs over the past few years. Rather, some statements contained “a degree of hyperbole that might be more associated with an advertising agency.” Read full story (paywalled) Source: BMJ, 28 September 2022
  10. Content Article
    On Saturday 17 September 2022, the fourth annual World Patient Safety Day took place, established as a day to call for global solidarity and concerted action to improve patient safety. Medication safety was chosen as the focused for World Patient Safety Day 2022 due to the substantial burden of medication-related harm at all levels of care. In this report, the World Health Organization (WHO) provides an overview of activities in the countries that observed World Patient Safety Day 2022 to make this event.
  11. News Article
    Antibiotic resistance is an increasing challenge for modern medicine as more naturally occurring antimicrobials are needed to tackle infections capable of resisting treatments currently in use. New research from the University of Warwick has investigated natural remedies to fill the gap in the antibiotic market, taking their cue from a 1,000-year-old text known as Bald's Leechbook. Read the full article here.
  12. News Article
    A trial has been launched in the UK to test whether ibuprofen can help with breathing difficulties in COVID-19 hospital patients. Scientists hope a modified form of the anti-inflammatory drug and painkiller will help to relieve respiratory problems in people who have more serious coronavirus symptoms but do not need intensive care unit treatment. Half the patients participating in the trial will be administered with the drug in addition to their usual care, while the other half will receive standard care to analyse the effectiveness of the treatment. Read full story Source: The Independent, 3 June 2020
  13. Content Article
    Nearly half of all adults and approximately 8% of children (aged 5-17) worldwide have a chronic condition. Yet, studies have consistently shown that adherence to medication is poor; estimates range from under 80% to under 50%, with an average of 50%. There could be a considerable improvement in health outcomes (and consequently longevity), not only by developing new drugs, but by helping people adhere to existing treatment regimens that have already been researched, tested and prescribed for them. But adherence isn’t usually prioritised by governments, health providers or healthcare professionals (HCPs). Adherence isn’t measured at a national level for any disease, apart from in Sweden where hypertension is recorded. And as governments don’t prioritise adherence, health providers aren’t measured or incentivised for improving it, meaning HCPs may not have the time and resources (or reminders) to focus on it during consultations.  This report from the International Longevity Centre-UK (ILC) makes a series of recommendations.
  14. Content Article
    Daily safety briefings, also referred to as “huddles,” are conducted within hospitals in efforts to minimize errors and improve patient safety. These briefings are intended to be quick, efficient, and meaningful to health care workers. The purpose of this research is to assess current and perceived best practices related to safety huddles in health-system pharmacy departments, including timing, location, persons involved, and topics covered.
  15. Content Article
    This book aims to teach the key principles of patient safety to a diverse audience: physicians, nurses, pharmacists, other healthcare providers, quality and safety professionals, risk managers, hospital administrators, and others. It is suitable for all levels of readers: from the senior physician trying to learn this new way of approaching his or her work, to the medical or nursing student, to the risk manager or hospital board member seeking to get more involved in institutional safety efforts. Understanding Patient Safety is divided into three main sections. In Section I, it describes the epidemiology of error, distinguishes safety from quality, discusses the key mental models that inform our modern understanding of the safety field, and summarises the policy environment for patient safety. In Section II, it reviews different error types, taking advantage of real cases to describe various kinds of mistakes and safety hazards, introduces new terminology, and discusses what we know about how errors happen and how they can be prevented. Although many prevention strategies will be touched on in Section II, more general issues regarding various strategies (from both individual institutional and broader policy perspectives) will be reviewed in Section III. After a concluding chapter, the Appendix includes a wide array of resources, from helpful Web sites to a patient safety glossary.
  16. Event
    This virtual workshop will provide participants with background theory and hands-on practice in using a multi-incident analysis to analyse a group of medication incidents that share a common topic on day 1 and introduce a novel tool called the Medication Safety Culture Indicator Matrix (MedSCIM) on day 2. Register
  17. Event
    This virtual workshop will provide participants with background theory and hands-on practice in using a multi-incident analysis to analyse a group of medication incidents that share a common topic on day 1 and introduce a novel tool called the Medication Safety Culture Indicator Matrix (MedSCIM) on day 2. Register
  18. Event
    To mark the annual World Patient Safety Day, three organisations - COHSASA of South Africa, AfiHQSA of Ghana and C-CARE (IHK) of Uganda - are collaborating to bring you the latest thinking across Africa regarding 'Medication without harm', the theme for WHO's Third Global Patient Safety Challenge. The Challenge aims to reduce the global burden of iatrogenic medication-related harm by 50% within five years. Join us to hear new ideas, visions and solutions to address medication-related adverse events which cause untold death and suffering around the world. Register for the meeting FINAL INVITE FOR WPSD WEBINAR.pdf
  19. Community Post
    NHS hospital staff spend countless hours capturing data in electronic prescribing and medicines administration systems. Yet that data remains difficult to access and use to support patient care. This is a tremendous opportunity to improve patient safety, drive efficiencies and save time for frontline staff. I have just published a post about this challenge and Triscribe's solution. I would love to hear any comments or feedback on the topic... How could we use this information better? What are hospitals already doing? Where are the gaps? Thanks
  20. Community Post
    See Rob Hackett's video on the hub: Indistinct Chlorhexidine: Patients suffer unnecessarily – the reason is clear Rob highlights the story of Grace Wang. In 2010 Grace Wang was left paralysed after an accidental epidural injection with antiseptic solution (indistinct chlorhexidine – easily mistaken for other colourless solutions). This same error continues to play out again and again throughout the world. Do you have evidence or data from your organisation or healthcare system. Comment below or email: info@pslhub.org We will ensure confidentiality.
  21. Content Article
    This YouTube playlist containing 12 short vlogs (each lasting 10 minutes or less) is a cut-down version of Continuing Professional Development work commissioned by the NHS in England. These are part of our patient led clinical education work and involved working with patients, carers, and relatives as equals to produce the videos. These vlogs are based on the (UK) Royal Pharmaceutical Society Competency Framework for all Prescribers, and related guidelines from professional bodies in the UK. They are designed for clinicians (across all disciplines and specialities), patients, carers, parents, relatives and the public.  The short videos focus on providing refresher information, updates on hot topics and materials that can be used for reflection both individually and within clinical teams.  They cover: Shared decision making Information mastery Interpretation of numerical data Root causes on medicines and prescribing errors Taking a history Basic pharmacology Risk areas and red flags Ethics, the law and prescribing Deprescribing Remote prescribing Prescribing for frailty and multimorbidity Prescription writing and safe prescribing The original materials were accompanied by live sessions, questions for reflection (some of which are included here), separate refresher questions, detailed prescribing scenarios, and competency assessments.  
  22. Content Article
    Since the 1990s, the prescribing of strong pain medicines called opioids has increased in England and most high-income countries. Oxford researchers review the global and national use of opioids and have developed tools to improve patient safety. The core areas of research and their outputs are highlighted in this article published by the Centre for Evidence Based Medicine.
  23. Gallery Image
    Bupivacaine solution, a medication used to decrease feeling in a specific area, alongside sodium chloride used as a saline solution. What could go wrong?! Another example of almost identical packaging/labelling.
  24. Gallery Image
    Similar looking boxes, but different drugs, stored together on the shelf. Easy to pick the wrong one up.
  25. News Article
    This week is the MHRA's sixth annual #MedSafetyWeek social media campaign. This year’s campaign theme is reporting suspected side effects following vaccination. This forms part a global effort by national medicines regulatory authorities from over 60 countries and their stakeholders to raise awareness about the importance of reporting. Vaccines are life-saving medicinal products that are given to protect individuals against serious infections and sometimes the most effective way to prevent infectious diseases. The MHRA are calling on all healthcare professionals (HCPs), national immunisation programme staff, as well as patients, their carers and families to report suspected side effects from vaccines or medicines to the MHRA Yellow Card scheme.
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