Profile of drug administration errors in anesthesia among anesthesiologists from Santa Catarina

Thomas Rolf Erdmann Jorge Hamilton Soares Garcia Marcos Lázaro Loureiro Marcelo Petruccelli Monteiro Guilherme Muriano Brunharo About the authors


Anesthesiology is the only medical specialty that prescribes, dilutes, and administers drugs without conferral by another professional. Adding to the high frequency of drug administration, a propitious scenario to errors is created.


Access the prevalence of drug administration errors during anesthesia among anesthesiologists from Santa Catarina, the circumstances in which they occurred, and possible associated factors.


An electronic questionnaire was sent to all anesthesiologists from Sociedade de Anestesiologia do Estado de Santa Catarina, with direct or multiple choice questions on responder demographics and anesthesia practice profile; prevalence of errors, type and consequence of error; and factors that may have contributed to the errors.


Of the respondents, 91.8% reported they had committed administration errors, adding the total error of 274 and mean of 4.7 (6.9) errors per respondent. The most common error was replacement (68.4%), followed by dose error (49.1%), and omission (35%). Only 7% of respondents reported neuraxial administration error. Regarding circumstances of errors, they mainly occurred in the morning (32.7%), in anesthesia maintenance (49%), with 47.8% without harm to the patient and 1.75% with the highest morbidity and irreversible damage, and 87.3% of cases with immediate identification. As for possible contributing factors, the most frequent were distraction and fatigue (64.9%) and misreading of labels, ampoules, or syringes (54.4%).


Most respondents committed more than one error in anesthesia administration, mainly justified as a distraction or fatigue, and of low gravity.

Medical errors; Drug errors; Anesthesiology; Anesthesia

Sociedade Brasileira de Anestesiologia R. Professor Alfredo Gomes, 36, 22251-080 Botafogo RJ Brasil, Tel: +55 21 2537-8100, Fax: +55 21 2537-8188 - Campinas - SP - Brazil