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There are several high-risk medications that can lead to an adverse drug event (ADE). The classes of medications that we need to be aware of when it comes to ADEs include anticoagulation’s, opioids, antidiabetics, antipsychotics and antibiotics.

High-alert medications can cause significant patient harm if used in error. These include medications that have dangerous adverse effects, often have a narrow therapeutic index and typically, require lab monitoring. Also look-alike and sound-alike medications or those that have similar names and physical appearance, but have completely different pharmaceutical properties, pose a risk. 

Did you know? One of the most preventable ADEs is Epistaxis (nosebleeds) while on an anticoagulant. Sometimes we overlook the simple things to keep ourselves and our patients safe. Let’s remember it is often best to Keep It Safe and Simple….

Causes of Epistaxis (nosebleeds):

  • Exposure to warm, dry air for prolonged periods of time
  • Nasal and sinus infections
  • Allergic rhinitis (hay fever)
  • Vasal foreign body (object stuck in the nose)
  • Vigorous nose blowing
  • Nasal surgery, deviated or perforated nasal septum

Actions that can be taken to help prevent a nosebleed.

  • Most nosebleeds occur during the winter in cold, dry climates. If a person is prone to nosebleeds, humidified air
  • Petroleum jelly (Vaseline), antibiotic ointment or a saline nasal gel/spray also may be used to keep the nasal passages moist
  • Avoid overusing antihistamines and allergy medicines as these could make the nose dry
  • Try not to pick or blow the nose too vigorously. If person is a “picker”, keep nails trimmed and clean
  • If the nosebleed is related to an underlying medical condition (for example, liver disease or a chronic sinus condition), follow the healthcare practitioner’s instructions to keep these medical problems under control

Keep It Safe and Simple: “KISS” Your ADEs Good-Bye

Additional Resources

Upcoming Events

Focus 4 Health – Adverse Drug Events | Wednesdays in September – 12:15 – 12:45 pm CT

During our Focus 4 Health Series in September, we will revisit tactics to reduce ADE’s with prescribing and transcribing of medications, dispensing and administration and how care coordination can help in preventing ADEs. Please note: This Series is a repeated session from our January 2023 Series and Focus 4 Health Series moved to Wednesdays from 12:15 – 12:45 pm CT. We will begin the September Series on September 6, 2023.

⇒ Visit our Web site to learn more and get registered.

Thursday’s BOOST With Your QIO | Keep It Simple and Kiss Your ADEs Good-Bye
August 31, 2023 – 4:00 – 4:30 pm CT

Join Us. The Great Plains QIN team will lead the conversation on how to reduce and prevent Adverse Drug Events (ADEs) through a better understanding of data, a focus on high-risk medications and zeroing in on ‘near misses. Each Boost With Your QIO will be 30 minutes and these sessions are for nursing homes in North Dakota and South Dakota. You only need to register one time for the BOOST Series.

⇒ Visit our Web site to learn more and get registered.

Listen to our Podcast – Q-Tips For Your Ears!

What Are Adverse Drug Events (ADEs)? Adverse drug events happen every day and can occur with anyone who is taking a medicine. What is an adverse drug event, how does it happen and what can I do to help reduce the risk? Take a few minutes to listen and learn more.