The ability to administer anesthesia is one of the greatest advancements of modern medicine. Medical teams would not have the ability to safely perform a wide variety of procedures without it.
Anesthesia administration and maintenance has made great strides since its infancy centuries ago. Among these improvements is a most crucial component - patient safety. Patient safety is paramount in all aspects of medicine and medical care, but there is a particular concern for safety and injury prevention in the perioperative setting where the patient is often exposed to significant risk.
The anesthesia professional is the only practitioner involved with the total medication process of prescribing, preparing, dispensing, and administering the medications without the advantage of an extra check of other health care professionals such as pharmacists or nurses. Additionally, many of the drugs used in anesthesia are high-risk drugs with a narrow therapeutic index which contributes to the potential for a harmful medication error to occur.
Medication errors in the operating room are not uncommon and most are considered preventable. According to an infographic published in Anesthesiology on January 2016, 5.3% of Advert Drug Events (ADEs), an event in which a patient is harmed or injured due to interventional drugs, are found in perioperative settings.
Interestingly, researchers found similar medication error rates or near miss rates across the globe, indicating a shared problem and concern of the profession.
According to a study published in Anesthesiology in January 2016, the most frequently occurring errors were miscalculations of dose, concentration or infusion rates, syringe or vial swaps, additional or missed dose(s). In the studies evaluated, the harm from these errors was found to be low; however, the authors did review a worrisome number of case studies that reported potentially lethal or lethal errors, these included: wrong route, dilution or concentration errors, pump programming errors, allergic reaction of a known allergic drug and failure to flush lines after drug administration.
Other anesthesia safety challenges include infections, improper intravenous fluid regulation ineffective post- op pain management, and documentation errors.
Hospital administrations and their staffs are working diligently to minimize the mistakes involved with anesthesia. Through a combination of safety protocols, changes in medical processes, and improvements in medical technology, patients will hopefully face less risk than ever before.
Meeting the Challenge
Elcam's SafePort™ Manifold was especially designed for use in the OR and ICU and its innovative dual flow option side-port valves optimizes manifolds for convenient, safe and simple use during anesthesia induction. The SafePort™ unique valves accessible for two-way free flow or one way pressure activation provide the clinician with a one-handed tool to perform rapid and safe medication induction. The Safeport minimizes inadvertent injection, reduces accidental drugs admixture, assures zero backflow, eliminates gas embolism or blood loss during disconnection of the syringe, prevents needle-stick injuries and provides clear and visible control over flow direction and fluid path.
Elcam's Marvelous™ stopcock benefits are aimed at increasing patient safety relative to medication errors. The Marvelous features a unique circumferential channel that reaches the entire internal volume of the valve. Constant flushing of the side port with (main line) carrier fluid minimizes dead space and assures complete rinsing of the drug from the system thereby reducing the chance of drug interactions and unintentional administration of residual drugs. Furthermore, by reducing the number of stopcock manipulations with the elimination of post-medication flushing with a syringe, the Marvelous contributes to decreasing the chances of medication errors.