Intensive drug monitoring of surgical patients was carried out on selected wards in five hospitals in the United States, Scotland, and New Zealand from 1977 through 1981. This report describes the methods and some findings from the monitoring of 5,232 such patients. Patients received, on the average, nine drugs on the ward, and adverse reactions were associated with 2.2% of these drug orders. Of the 1,150 drug-attributed adverse reactions, only 62 were considered "major" by the attending physician, and 35 (affecting 20 patients) were termed "life threatening." There were no drug-attributed deaths.
Danielson DA, Porter JB, Dinan BJ, et al. Drug Monitoring of Surgical Patients. JAMA. 1982;248(12):1482–1485. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03330120040027
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