Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New medics in death spike? Study suggests inexperienced medical staff make fatal medication errors

Date:
June 2, 2010
Source:
Springer Science+Business Media
Summary:
Are new medical residents a threat to patients? According to a new study, fatal medication errors peak in July in teaching hospitals in particular, which coincides with the yearly influx of new medical residents who are given increased responsibility for patient care.

Are new medical residents a threat to patients? According to Dr. David Phillips and Gwendolyn Barker from the University of California, San Diego in the US, fatal medication errors peak in July in teaching hospitals in particular, which coincides with the yearly influx of new medical residents who are given increased responsibility for patient care.

Their findings are published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, published by Springer.

Phillips and Barker looked at the relationship between inexperience and medical error by focusing on changes in the number of medication mistakes (involving accidental overdose of a drug, wrong drug given or taken in error, drug taken inadvertently, and accidents in the use of drugs in medical and surgical procedures) in July, when thousands begin medical residencies. They tested the hypothesis that the arrival of new medical residents in July is associated with increased fatal medication errors.

They examined 244,388 US death certificates focusing on fatal medication errors as the recorded primary cause of death, issued between 1979 and 2006. They compared the observed number of deaths in July with the number of expected events in a given month for a given year. They also looked at whether there were any differences between deaths in and out of hospital in July as well as between counties with and without teaching hospitals.

The authors found that inside medical institutions, fatal medication errors spiked in July and in no other month. This July peak was visible only in counties with teaching hospitals. In these counties, the number of July deaths from medication errors was 10 percent above the expected level. No similar link was observed for other causes of death or for deaths outside hospitals.

The authors highlight several implications for medical policy. "Our findings provide fresh evidence for 1) re-evaluating responsibilities assigned to new residents; 2) increasing supervision of new residents; 3) increasing education concerned with medication safety. Incorporating these changes might reduce both fatal and non-fatal medication errors and thereby reduce the substantial costs associated with these errors."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Springer Science+Business Media. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. David P. Phillips, Gwendolyn E. C. Barker. A July Spike in Fatal Medication Errors: A Possible Effect of New Medical Residents. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 2010; DOI: 10.1007/s11606-010-1356-3

Cite This Page:

Springer Science+Business Media. "New medics in death spike? Study suggests inexperienced medical staff make fatal medication errors." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 June 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100602091319.htm>.
Springer Science+Business Media. (2010, June 2). New medics in death spike? Study suggests inexperienced medical staff make fatal medication errors. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100602091319.htm
Springer Science+Business Media. "New medics in death spike? Study suggests inexperienced medical staff make fatal medication errors." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100602091319.htm (accessed October 1, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Pregnancy Spacing Could Have Big Impact On Autism Risks

Pregnancy Spacing Could Have Big Impact On Autism Risks

Newsy (Oct. 1, 2014) A new study says children born less than one year and more than five years after a sibling can have an increased risk for autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robotic Hair Restoration

Robotic Hair Restoration

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) A new robotic procedure is changing the way we transplant hair. The ARTAS robot leaves no linear scarring and provides more natural results. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Insertable Cardiac Monitor

Insertable Cardiac Monitor

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) A heart monitor the size of a paperclip that can save your life. The “Reveal Linq” allows a doctor to monitor patients with A-Fib on a continuous basis for up to 3 years! Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Attacking Superbugs

Attacking Superbugs

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) Two weapons hospitals can use to attack superbugs. Scientists in Ireland created a new gel resistant to superbugs, and a robot that can disinfect a room in minutes. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins