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Errors, Adverse Events Common Among Stroke Patients

Twelve percent of admitted stroke patients experience adverse events including falls and medication errors

MONDAY, Feb. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Adverse events and errors occur often in the treatment of stroke patients, highlighting the need for improvements in patient safety and quality of care, according to a report in the Feb. 20 issue of Neurology.

Robert Holloway, M.D., M.P.H., and colleagues from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry in Rochester, N.Y., analyzed spontaneously reported errors and adverse events occurring over a 3.5-year period at a 750-bed academic medical center.

The investigators found that 12 percent of the 1,440 stroke patients treated during this time experienced an adverse event, including falls and medication errors. Many of the adverse events were preventable and included transcription errors, failure to perform a clinical task and handoff errors.

"Eliminating medication errors and minimizing falls and other adverse events in stroke will require general and specific measures, including comprehensive institutional efforts, systems changes, and multilevel collaborations among stroke teams, other neurologists, all caregivers, systems managers and our patients," Matthew Rizzo, M.D., from the University of Iowa in Iowa City, and a colleague write in an accompanying editorial.

The study was partly funded by MCIC Vermont, Inc.

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