Introduction: Danger and errors are inherent in human activities. In medical practice errors can lean to adverse events for patients. Mass media echo the whole scenario.
Methods: We reviewed recent published papers in PubMed database to focus on the evidence and management of errors in medical practice in general and in Neonatology in particular. We compared the results of the literature with our specific experience in Nina Simulation Centre (Pisa, Italy).
Results: In Neonatology the main error domains are: medication and total parenteral nutrition, resuscitation and respiratory care, invasive procedures, nosocomial infections, patient identification, diagnostics. Risk factors include patients’ size, prematurity, vulnerability and underlying disease conditions but also multidisciplinary teams, working conditions providing fatigue, a large variety of treatment and investigative modalities needed.
Discussion and Conclusions: In our opinion, it is hardly possible to change the human beings but it is likely possible to change the conditions under they work. Voluntary errors report systems can help in preventing adverse events. Education and re-training by means of simulation can be an effective strategy too. In Pisa (Italy) Nina (ceNtro di FormazIone e SimulazioNe NeonAtale) is a simulation center that offers the possibility of a continuous retraining for technical and non-technical skills to optimize neonatological care strategies. Furthermore, we have been working on a novel skill trainer for mechanical ventilation (MEchatronic REspiratory System SImulator for Neonatal Applications, MERESSINA). Finally, in our opinion national health policy indirectly influences risk for errors.
Proceedings of the 9th International Workshop on Neonatology · Cagliari (Italy) · October 23rd-26th, 2013 · Learned lessons, changing practice and cutting-edge research