Drug usage

Drug usage in the ICU is complex. Co-operation between the pharmacy and the ICU increases patient safety. The pharmacy can provide comprehensive information about the correct preparation and administration of intravenous drugs, and about drug compatibility and special dose adjustments (e.g. in renal failure).

Standard solutions for frequently used drug infusions, agreed between ICU and pharmacy staff, can assist less experienced prescribers and reduce risks of error.

A daily review of prescriptions by a visiting pharmacist may eliminate such errors as incorrect frequency of dosing, incorrect dose adjustment during dialysis, synergism of pharmacological action, omission of drugs from a regimen, and transcription errors (Tab.l§„ . . 2).

v ftfuuic BivgiHi nr Tib oivr^t: ^rrj_i*-n cc- 'hwuhot ita

■ rii'rLi rrr uuntim tfrimi ogBfy fi m v iHU^t Vin* nttOt* MW.IWl'Wf.m tH l'Vfd VI «14 [Nl

■ V'm ii ^uraT. a pmviM» lim Hwil mufl b* if«''*)

* U■ I.rjdrS- S MUGQIimi MfVi IAI« B^OtAt-IHW hf ifaiKIVWPi

Table 2 Prescription writing in the ICU

Some errors may originate outside the hospital during drug manufacture. Contamination or the mislabeling of a batch of drugs may occur with potentially fatal consequences. Close observation of patients during drug therapy and swift action in the event of unexpected adverse reactions are crucial to patient safety.

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