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ISMP Canada News

May 14, 2020: SafeMedicationUse.ca Newsletter - Managing Mild COVID-19 Symptoms at Home

If you or one of your loved ones have mild symptoms of COVID-19, you may be able to recover at home in isolation without needing hospital care. A telephone call or virtual appointment with a doctor, nurse practitioner, family health team member or public health unit will provide you with instructions. This might include advice on treatment, monitoring, isolation/quarantine, and safety precautions for other family members in your home. You may be able to manage your symptoms with nonprescription medications. Call your pharmacist for advice. Ask about potential interactions between nonprescription medications and other medications you may be taking. Read more …

May 7, 2020: Safety Bulletin - Strategies for Safer Telephone and Other Verbal Orders in Defined Circumstances

Medication orders (prescriptions) conveyed verbally by telephone or in person are prone to errors. Problems can arise if a medication order is miscommunicated, misheard, or incorrectly transcribed. ISMP Canada encourages the use of written orders, including electronic orders, to prevent medication errors. However, the current pandemic has increased the need for and frequency of telephone and other verbal orders. This bulletin shares recommendations for practitioners to minimize the risk of errors when communicating medication orders verbally. Read more ...

May 7, 2020: Safety Bulletin - COVID-19: Updated Requirements for Post-Consumer Returns

Health Canada's Office of Controlled Substances published a bulletin to provide pharmacists with information on temporary exceptional measures for post-consumer returns containing controlled substances to reduce the likelihood of spreading COVID-19 between consumers and pharmacists. In instances where pharmacists choose not to accept returns during the pandemic, they should advise consumers on the proper storage of these products in their residences until the pharmacy resumes accepting returns. Ideally, the medications should be stored in a locked cabinet and kept out of reach of children. In cases where pharmacists choose to continue accepting post-consumer returns, reduced contact between the consumer and the pharmacist must be maintained. Read more ...

May 7, 2020: Safety Bulletin - Intravenous Tubing Extensions to Preserve Personal Protective Equipment

In an effort to conserve personal protective equipment (PPE), hospital staff have found various ways to reduce the need to enter the rooms of patients who have COVID-19. These strategies include virtual meetings, combined administration of intravenous (IV) medications (when the drugs are compatible), and use of IV tubing extensions to keep pumps outside patients' rooms. The use of IV tubing extensions is the most complex of these strategies. Read more ...

May 1, 2020: Safety Bulletin - ALERT: Hand Sanitizers that Look Like Drinks

In this time of shortages across the country, many companies have taken up the call to manufacture hand sanitizers, so there is greater access to these products. There is a risk that hand sanitizer will be swallowed by accident by an adult or child when it is provided in containers that are usually used for drinks such as soda, water, and alcoholic beverages. ISMP Canada received a recent report from a concerned consumer about a hand sanitizer being sold in a grocery store. He picked up a bottle thinking it contained a drink but soon realized it was hand sanitizer. The consumer shared that the product inside the bottle was a liquid, not a gel—it looked just like water. He was concerned that the product would be mistaken for water and ingested. Read more ...

April 28, 2020: SafeMedicationUse.ca Newsletter - You Can Make a Difference: Help Prevent Medication Shortages

SafeMedicationUse.ca has heard from several consumers who are concerned about not being able to get more than a 30-day supply of their medications. Understandably, this limit on medications during the pandemic is causing people to worry. It's important to know that this change is not happening because of a medication shortage. It is in place to prevent one.  Read more …

April 15, 2020: SafeMedicationUse.ca Newsletter -  How to Prepare for a Virtual Meeting with Your Health Care Provider

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many health care providers have started speaking with patients by phone or video call, instead of having in-person appointments. Even hospital staff are starting to use technology to communicate with their patients. They are doing this as a way to maintain physical distancing, because the virus can easily be spread from one person to another. If you have an appointment for a "virtual meeting" it's important for you to be prepared.  Read more …