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Archive for Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Regulator: Strict heparin rules needed

September 24, 2008

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— A regulatory group told hospitals today to adopt strict measures to prevent errors involving blood thinners including heparin - mistakes that have been made nearly 60,000 times and led to dozens of deaths in recent years.

The Joint Commission issued a safety alert saying hospitals need to adopt prevention measures that could include bar-coding technology for medicines or computerized drug orders. It advised hospitals to more closely monitor patients on these drugs and make sure that adult-strength heparin is stored nowhere near children's units.

The alert said 28 deaths are among 32 reports of drug errors involving blood thinners that it received between 1997 and last year.

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