Clinical review: medication errors in critical care

Crit Care. 2008;12(2):208. doi: 10.1186/cc6813. Epub 2008 Mar 12.


Medication errors in critical care are frequent, serious, and predictable. Critically ill patients are prescribed twice as many medications as patients outside of the intensive care unit (ICU) and nearly all will suffer a potentially life-threatening error at some point during their stay. The aim of this article is to provide a basic review of medication errors in the ICU, identify risk factors for medication errors, and suggest strategies to prevent errors and manage their consequences.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Critical Care / standards*
  • Drug Therapy / standards*
  • Humans
  • Intensive Care Units
  • Medication Errors / prevention & control*
  • Polypharmacy
  • Risk Factors