Injury due to inadvertent intravenous administration of concentrated potassium chloride (KCl) is a serious patient safety concern that has resulted in several deaths in Canadian hospitals. A significant contributing factor in many of the errors reported to date is the availability of potassium chloride concentrate in patient care areas.
The United States and the United Kingdom, with government initiatives, have already taken steps to remove concentrated KCl from patient care areas.
As part of the first Medication Safety Support Service initiative, ISMP Canada has assembled a comprehensive package to assist in the removal of KCI concentrate from general patient care areas in Ontario hospitals. The package contains the rationale, the experience of many Canadian hospitals, examples of programs in other countries, draft letters to physicians, examples for automatic substitutions, sample hospital newsletters, posters, etc. This package may be obtained by filling out and submitting the following form:
To order, please download and print the Order Form
As of 2005, ISMP Canada has published the following guidelines and recommendations for the safe administration of Potassium Chloride:
The Ontario MSSS is a Collaborative Medication Safety Initiative of ISMP Canada, the Ontario Hospital Association and the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.
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