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Found 27 results
  1. News Article
    Concerns have been raised that patients may not be receiving “vital” safety information after HSJ discovered a high-risk medication was frequently not being dispensed as originally packaged. In 2018, the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency asked pharmacies to dispense valproate-containing medications in their original pack where possible, to ensure packages include safety warnings. It also asked manufacturers to produce smaller pack sizes and add pictorial warnings, while pharmacists were additionally asked to add stickered warnings to the outer box of any valproate-containing medication not dispensed in its original packaging. Yet, data obtained via freedom of information requests to the NHS Business Services Authority revealed that while the proportion and number of valproate-containing items dispensed as split packs – as opposed to whole packs – had decreased over the last five years, split packs still accounted for more than half of items dispensed in 2022-23. Emma Murphy, of campaign group In-Fact, said the figures on split pack dispensing were “quite horrifying” and showed “the system is not working”. She added: “Attitudes have got to change – prescribers, GPs etc need to be proactive and warn women of the risks because this isn’t just a side effect, this is harming real babies. As a mum of five affected children, the consequences of valproate in pregnancy on that baby is devastating.” Alison Fuller, of Epilepsy Action, said the high proportion of split packs being dispensed made it “clear why the change in guidance introduced in October 2023 was necessary”, adding: “The manufacturer’s original full pack always contains all the relevant information, which is why it’s the best option for patient awareness.” Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ,
  2. Content Article
    This opinion piece is by Luke* who suffers from post-SSRI sexual dysfunction (PSSD) after he was prescribed a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant.  Luke introduces the condition, drawing on the experiences that others have shared through PSSD communities, to highlight the devastating impact on patients. He calls for widespread recognition, improved risk communication and better support for sufferers.  *Name has been changed
  3. Content Article
    In this podcast episode, Rosie, Sean, Carlton, and Emily share their experiences with Post-SSRI Sexual Dysfunction (PSSD), a condition where individuals face persistent sexual side effects and other side effects after taking or discontinuing certain antidepressants. Throughout the conversation, they emphasise the need for increased awareness and research on PSSD, sharing personal stories to shed light on this often-overlooked condition. Despite the challenges they face, they remain determined to advocate for recognition and support for those suffering from PSSD.
  4. Content Article
    Sexual dysfunction is a common side effect of Serotonergic antidepressants (SA) treatment, and persists in some patients despite drug discontinuation, a condition termed post-SSRI sexual dysfunction (PSSD). The risk for PSSD is unknown but is thought to be rare and difficult to assess. This study, published in the Annals of general psychiatry, aims to estimate the risk of erectile dysfunction (ED) and PSSD in males treated with SAs.
  5. Content Article
    A set of enduring conditions have been reported in the literature involving persistent sexual dysfunction after discontinuation of serotonin reuptake inhibiting antidepressants, 5 alpha-reductase inhibitors and isotretinoin. The objective of this study, published by the International Journal of Safety and Risk in Medicine, was to develop diagnostic criteria for post-SSRI sexual dysfunction (PSSD), persistent genital arousal disorder (PGAD) following serotonin reuptake inhibitors, post-finasteride syndrome (PFS) and post-retinoid sexual dysfunction (PRSD).
  6. Content Article
    This investigation aims to improve patient safety by supporting healthcare staff in a surgical setting to select and insert the appropriate type of implant (vascular graft) for haemodialysis treatment. The Healthcare and Safety Investigation Branch (HSIB) explored the factors that affect the ability of staff to safely select and insert vascular grafts for haemodialysis treatment. The national investigation focused on: The identification of factors within the healthcare system as a whole that influence patient safety risks associated with the selection and insertion of vascular grafts in an operating theatre environment. Exploration, using a systems approach, of the design of labelling and packaging used for the different types of vascular grafts for patients on haemodialysis treatment. Exploration of the impact on operating theatre teams of staff redeployment and repurposing of working environments in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  7. News Article
    Some pharmacies run by the High Street chain Boots have been criticised for telling some patients on multiple drugs that they can no longer have blister pack boxes, known as dosette boxes or multi-compartment compliance aids (MCCAs). Weekly pill organisers can help users keep track of their daily medication and stay safe. Pharmacists put the tablets into individual boxes in the trays, each one indicating when they should be taken. The NHS says boxes are not always available for free on the NHS and they're not suitable for every type of medicine. Tracey Hobbs' mother, Pat Garner, lives at home with care visits. For several years, she has had her MCCAs provided by her local Boots pharmacy. She takes more than 15 pills each day. Tracey says she was phoned by Boots and told that from one month later her mother would receive all the drugs in the original packaging, rather than organised into morning and night doses for each day of the week. Tracey told the BBC: "I pointed out that the blister packs were the only way we could know she had taken her medication at the right time. Handing seven individual boxes with different instructions on each one was totally unworkable and - quite frankly - dangerous". A Boots spokesperson said: "The latest Royal Pharmaceutical Society guidance indicates that the use of multi-compartment compliance aids is not always the most appropriate option for patients that need support to take their medicines at the right dose and time." "Pharmacists are speaking with patients who we provide with MCCAs to discuss whether it is the right way to support them, depending on their individual circumstances and clinical needs." Prof Gill Livingston, an expert in elderly medicine at University College London, said she was concerned to hear that some patients and their families were being told the boxes were being scrapped. She said: "Blister packs enable people with mild dementia or some memory problems to take their own medication and remain independent. They can check that they have taken it and they know they have taken the right thing, as it is already sorted out. "Later on in dementia or with other disabilities, it enables paid carers and families to help them take their medication and remain in the community and remain as well as possible." Read full story Source: BBC News, 21 June 2022
  8. Content Article
    The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency issued this guidance following recent cases, including cases with fatal outcomes, in which patients have received the wrong medicine due to confusion between similarly named or sounding brand or generic names.
  9. News Article
    All NHS hospitals in England have been told to destroy a powerful medicine mistakenly used by staff because its packaging looks the same as another drug. A national safety alert was issued following several incidents, including two deaths of babies, in which patients were inadvertently given a dose of sodium nitrite – which is used as an antidote to cyanide poisoning – rather than sodium bicarbonate. The errors are thought to have been caused by similarities between the labelling and drug packaging used by manufacturers. Now hospitals have been told to check all wards and medicine storage areas for sodium nitrite and to destroy any of the unlicensed product. The drug should only be available in emergency departments and may have been supplied to medical wards by mistake. There are an estimated 237 million medication errors in the NHS every year – with a third linked to packaging and labelling. Read full story Source: The Independent, 9 August 2020
  10. News Article
    Every pharmacist must report adverse drug reactions using the yellow card scheme, says chair of the Community Pharmacy Patient Safety Group, Janice Perkins Polypharmacy, when different medications are used by an individual at the same time, is becoming increasingly common because people are living for longer and with multiple different illnesses. One study, published in 2018 by the Oxford University Press, found that over half (54%) of those aged 65 years and above who took part in the study had two or more long-term conditions, for which they could have been taking a range of medicines. Read full story Source: Community Pharmacy News, 17 February 2020
  11. Content Article
    EZDrugID is a campaign to improve the distinctiveness of medication packaging set up by a group of healthcare workers. Inadequate standards around medication packaging mean that medications with very different actions are sometimes packaged in a very similar way causing "look-alike drugs”. This can lead to errors and serious harm to patients if the wrong drug is mistakenly used. The EZDrugID website contains information about their campaigns to maximise distinctiveness of different medications as well as a "lookalikes" gallery. See also: the hub's error traps gallery The medication safety area of the hub
  12. Content Article
    This article, published in ICU Management and Practice, explores how human factors are significant contributors to drug error. To overcome some of these human factors, standardisation and consolidation is needed of agreed drugs and equipment into a compact pre-packed critical care drugs pouch (CCP) for use in non-theatre environments.
  13. Content Article
    This training video illustrates guidance from the Department of Health on safe administration of intrathecal medications.
  14. Content Article
    This blog by the Institute for Safe Medication Practices identifies ten medication safety concerns in the US from 2021 that still need to be addressed. These concerns are: Mix-ups between the paediatric and adult formulations of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines Mix-ups between the COVID-19 vaccines or boosters and the 2021-2022 influenza (flu) vaccines EPINEPHrine administered instead of the COVID-19 vaccine Preparation errors with the Pfizer-BioNTech purple cap or grey cap COVID-19 vaccines Errors and delays with hypertonic sodium chloride Errors with discontinued or paused infusions Infection transmission with shared glucometers, fingerstick devices, and insulin pens Adverse glycaemic event errors Every organisation needs a medication safety officer Increasing error reporting
  15. Content Article
    Presentation on the of theme of prevention of medication error from Philip A Routledge and James Coulson (All Wales Therapeutics and Toxicology Centre). Presentation available as slides a written transcript.
  16. Content Article
    Oliver Pittock, managing director of pharmaceutical packaging supplier, Valley Northern, examines the areas of pharmaceutical packaging that require special attention, and how it can contribute towards a future of safer medication. Related content the hub's medication error traps gallery
  17. Content Article
    Patient safety is often compromised by confusion over the graphic information on drugs packaging. Injectable medicines are particularly susceptible to medical error. This study gives design guidance to make such packs safer.
  18. Content Article
    Sodium nitrite has one licensed indication: as an antidote to cyanide poisoning. The Royal College of Emergency Medicine (RCEM) and National Poisons Information Service (NPIS) guideline recommends that it should be “immediately available in the emergency department”. Sodium nitrite can cause significant side effects and is categorised as ‘highly toxic’. Historically, sodium nitrite 30mg/ml has been an unlicensed product supplied in ampoules by ‘Specials’ manufacturers. However a licensed product, supplied as a vial, has been available since 2016. The National Reporting and Learning System (NRLS) identified two incidents where unlicensed sodium nitrite was inadvertently administered to premature babies instead of sodium bicarbonate 4.2%: one very premature baby died soon after this incident occurred and the other died after a period of neonatal intensive care. Hospitals have been given until 6 November to physically check all wards for the wrong drug and to destroy any unlicensed sodium nitrite supplies. This alert is an action for all acute trusts (children and adult).
  19. Content Article
    In Calgary, each of the three acute-care adult hospitals had different anesthetic medication carts with their own type and layout of anaesthetic medications. A number of anaesthesiologists moved among the different sites, increasing the potential for medication errors. The objective of this study from Schultz et al., published in the Canadian Journal of Anesthesia, was to identify the anesthetic medications to include and to determine how they should be grouped and positioned in a standardised anesthesia medication cart drawer. Implementation of the standardised medication drawer is expected to reduce the likelihood of medication errors. Future research should include testing the clinical implications of this standardization and applying the methodology to other areas.
  20. Content Article
    This initiative at Chase Farm Hopsital, from the Royal Free NHS Foundation Trust, was started to mitigate wrong implant never events. Instead of just the one person going into the stock room to collect the implant and equipment, two people go and both check. This poster is a gentle reminder to check with a colleague before sending to theatre. What do other Trusts do to mitigate this type of never event?
  21. Content Article
    Kathleen Sutcliffe is a Bloomberg Distinguished Professor at Johns Hopkins University and the co-author of a forthcoming book Still not safe: patient safety and the middle-managing of American medicine (Oxford University Press).
  22. Content Article
    The Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) is the only US nonprofit organisation devoted entirely to preventing medication errors.  In this short video, produced by ISMP in partnership with the Temple University School of Pharmacy, experts discuss current medication safety concerns and offer practical error prevention recommendations.
  23. Content Article
    The Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) is the only nonprofit organisation in the US devoted entirely to preventing medication errors.  In this video, produced by ISMP in partnership with the Temple University School of Pharmacy, experts discuss medication safety concerns and offer practical error prevention recommendations. 
  24. Content Article
    Guidance from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), explains how to package medicines for sale and what information you must provide to consumers and healthcare professionals.
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