n Southern African Journal of Critical Care - Drug safety in the intensive care unit : editorial

Volume 22, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1562-8264
  • E-ISSN: 2078-676X



'To err is human' is the title of a landmark document by the Institute of Medicine, which highlights the high incidence of medication errors occurring in hospitals and the consequent complications, costs and deaths. Extrapolating from two large hospital studies, medication errors may result in between 24 000 and 98 000 deaths per year in the USA, making this their 8th most common cause of death. Preventable drug events occur in 2% of hospital admissions and cost $2 billion per annum.

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