Medication safety in nonoperating room anesthesiology

Curr Opin Anaesthesiol. 2021 Aug 1;34(4):443-448. doi: 10.1097/ACO.0000000000001015.


Purpose of review: Medication errors remain a prominent source of medical harm in spite of over 20 years of effort in establishing standardized protocols and procedures, implementing assistive electronic technologies to identify medications and prevent administration errors and in establishing a just culture with regard to reporting events and near misses.

Recent findings: Some of these interventions are even more necessary in the nonstandard environment of a non-operating room anesthesiology (NORA) procedure suite, where the anesthesiologist is often far removed from colleagues, in a dark room, lacking the standard medications commonly found in their operating room. Medication availability in NORA sites may be limited because of lack of standardization or distance from the operating room pharmacy. Proper preparation of medication may be impaired by poor lighting and cramped conditions. Medication administration might be hampered by a lack of infusion pumps or pumps without the proper medication library needed by the anesthesiologist.

Summary: Specific attention must be paid to enhancement of medication safety in NORA sites to overcome additional challenges inherent in the provision of anesthesia care remote from the standard operating room setting.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anesthesia* / adverse effects
  • Anesthesiologists
  • Anesthesiology*
  • Humans
  • Operating Rooms