Revista Cubana de Farmacia
versión On-line ISSN 1561-2988
ARBESU MICHELENA, María Antonieta; RAMOS FERNANDEZ, Maritza y ARECES DELGADO, Fernando. Pilot study in the detection of errors in cytostatics prescription. Rev Cubana Farm [online]. 2004, vol.38, n.3, pp. 1-1. ISSN 1561-2988.
Due to the high toxicity of cytostatics it is important to know the prevalence of errors in medication, since they can cause serious consequences in the reponse to the treatment of every patient. In order to lay down a strategy related to the reduction of the possible errors in prescription, a pilot study was conducted in December 15-21, 2003, at the Oncological Chemotherapy Service of the Institute of Oncology and Radiobiology in 43 medical orders. The errors were divided into errors caused by omission (that make difficult the checking on the part of the pharmacist), and errors caused by incorrectness (that may be potentially severe for the patient). There were 299 errors in all. The lack of the physician's signature in 43 prescriptions, as well as the use of abbreviations, acronyms and commercial names in 88.4 % of them, were among the most common errors. As to the severe errors, it was observed the non-inclusion of the weight and height in any medical order, the erroneous body surface (bs) above the real in 15 cases (34.8 %), the subdosing in 41 occasions (47.7 %) and the non-correspondance with the Protocol according to the Institutional Norms in 17 mistakes. It was concluded that the occurrence of prescription errors is high at the service, which shows that it is important to protocol the medical orders to reduce the percentage or errors detected in this pilot study and to go deep into this matter.
Palabras llave : Cytostatics; medication errors; prescription errors; drug therapy.