OAK BROOK, Ill. Patients are four times more likely to inadvertently harm themselves if allowed to administer injected pain drugs to themselves, according to a new study.
Published in the December issue of The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety, the study found that human error, problems with equipment and problems with communication cause most patient-controlled analgesia mistakes.
Of the 9.500 PCA errors studied, 6.5 percent caused harm to patients, while
1.5 percent of medication errors as a whole harmed patients. In addition, harm from PCA errors was more severe than other medication errors, often requiring clinical interventions.