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Patient Safety Measures For Traumatic Brain Injury Rehabilitation

People with a traumatic brain injury are especially vulnerable to patient safety errors during rehabilitation. These errors not only put patients at risk of adverse events, they can also limit rehabilitation efforts and increase the cost of care.

A recent review of common patient safety errors in traumatic brain injury rehabilitation found that the following were key management risk factors:

  • Communication deficits
  • Medications
  • Cognitive and functional deficits
  • Mobility aids
  • Bacterial infection
  • Agitation and combativeness
  • Bowel and bladder management
  • Skin monitoring
  • Nutritional needs

In addition, the study identifies certain medications that should be avoided in people with a traumatic brain injury because of an increased risk of adverse events and negative outcome:

  • Opiates
  • Anticholinergics
  • Dopamine blockers
  • H2 blockers
  • Central-acting a antagonists

Pai AJ, Zadov Y, & Hickman A. Patient safety in rehabilitation medicine: Traumatic brain injury. Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Clinics of North America. May 2012.


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