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Implementing guidelines can help reduce medication errors

On Behalf of | Aug 11, 2023 | Medication Errors

Medical procedures in California and anywhere else in the country may require anesthesia. Doing so places you in a state where you won’t feel or see what’s happening. Unfortunately, medication errors can occur during this process, causing harm. Understanding how to avoid these mishaps from occurring is crucial to your health.

Guidance provides advice to reduce medication errors

During surgery, an anesthetist must ensure there are no medication errors when they administer drugs that put you to sleep. Unfortunately, these incidents have been occurring, harming patients. New guidance was published in Anaesthesia (the Journal of the Association of Anesthetists) to help combat this situation. It provided advice on reducing these errors.

Enhanced safety procedures should be used

One of the tips given in the guidelines to reduce medication errors is to use prefilled and labeled medication syringes. Using color-coded medication trays can help anesthetists organize medications before and during anesthesia. Unfortunately, these safety procedures aren’t currently used during every procedure where anesthesia is given.


To ensure safety when administering anesthesia, recommendations from the guidelines provided by the Association of Anesthetists included the following:

  • Have a clear institutional policy within multiple departments covering the safe handling of medicines
  • Departments of anesthesia should implement policies for the safe handling of medicines
  • The purchase of prefilled syringes should be promoted
  • Medicine storage should be standardized in workplaces
  • Syringe labeling and handling should be standardized and placed in the curriculum for training anesthetists
  • The exploration of technological solutions should be done when possible to help reduce the opportunity for error

If specific policies can help increase the safety of administering anesthesia medications, they should be implemented everywhere. Consistency is key in preventing errors.