Friday, December 19, 2014

Michael Cohen

Durezol and Durasal - how two drugs can be easily confused

Sunday, January 1, 2012, 9:05 PM
You may have read in The Inquirer about a health professional alert that FDA sent last week about potential injury due to look-alike/sound-alike drug name confusion between the FDA-approved eye medicine Durezol and an FDA-unapproved prescription wart remover called Durasal, which is salicylic acid... Read more

New acetaminophen for infants creating problems

Monday, December 26, 2011, 6:00 AM
When a child dies, the family’s anguish is palpable and may touch us close to home, especially if we have children. A few years ago, a man whose 10-year-old nephew lay dying in a hospital sent me this in an e-mail: “His precious little body is intubated and poked and catheterized in more... Read more

What happens when a 2-year-old swallows a diet pill

Monday, December 19, 2011, 11:29 AM
I remember it like it was yesterday. My wife and I were with some friends and family at our shore house in Ventnor when we decided to go out to dinner at the nearby Euro Gourmet Café on Ventnor Avenue. Among the group was a 2 year old who was sitting in a high chair at an outdoor table when... Read more

Look-alike drug names can lead to medication errors

Monday, December 12, 2011, 6:00 AM
Without a doubt, one of the most common types of medication errors we hear about is when a patient gets the wrong drug. And one of the leading reasons for this is look-alike drug names. This problem is especially prevalent when the two names are spelled similarly and also share the same dosage strength... Read more

Is it safer to use mail order or your local pharmacy?

Monday, December 5, 2011, 6:00 AM
Is there a real difference between mail order pharmacies and community pharmacies when it comes to patient safety? It’s a question that’s thrown my way now and then. Just this Thursday, after The Inquirer published one of my recent blogs, Ann from Wayne wrote: “It is ironic that... Read more

Replace bottle stopper with childproof cap after using liquid medication

Monday, November 28, 2011, 6:00 AM
In an earlier blog I pointed out that using a household spoon to give liquid medication can provide an inaccurate dose. Household spoons (teaspoons, tablespoons, dessert spoons) are not standardized. Depending on their size, typical household teaspoons can hold between 3 and 7 milliliters (mL). That’s... Read more

New version of infant acetaminophen can lead to mistakes

Monday, November 21, 2011, 6:00 AM
Acetaminophen is the most commonly used medication for pain and fever in infants and children. You know the drug as Tylenol, but it’s also widely sold under its generic name. Until just recently, there have been two forms of liquid acetaminophen available for children, one weaker than the other... Read more

A dad embraces the pharmacist responsible for his daughter's death

Monday, November 14, 2011, 6:10 AM
Emily Jerry was just two years old when she died from a medication error made by a hospital pharmacy technician in Cleveland. She had undergone surgeries and four rounds of chemotherapy to treat what doctors said was a highly curable malignant tumor at the base of her spine. According to her parents... Read more

Is it safe to crush pills to make them easier to swallow?

Sunday, November 6, 2011, 7:31 PM
Most pills you need to swallow are available commercially in the dosage strengths commonly prescribed for patients. Or, if need be, a liquid or suspension might be available. But this is not always the case. Occasionally, the exact dose of medication you need is not available commercially, so... Read more

Debate on using metric vs. household measures for liquid medicine dosing

Sunday, October 30, 2011, 9:41 PM
I had some interesting responses to my blog last week about the need to go with the metric system of measurement in order to eliminate medication errors with liquid medications. In the blog, I mentioned how doctors, pharmacists, patients and parents sometimes mix up teaspoons and tablespoons, milliliters... Read more
About this blog

Check Up covers regional health news and a wide array of healthcare topics from pharmaceutical happenings to patient safety. Read about some of our bloggers here.

Portions of this blog may also be found in the Inquirer's Sunday Health Section

Michael R. Cohen, R.Ph. President, Institute for Safe Medication Practices
Daniel R. Hoffman, Ph.D. President, Pharmaceutical Business Research Associates
Hooman Noorchashm, M.D., Ph.D. Cardiothoracic surgeon in the Philadelphia area
Amy J. Reed, M.D., Ph.D. Dual Board Certified Anesthesiologist and Surgical Intensivist
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