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Hospital Problems Reported at the American Academy of Neurology

A pilot study of treatment of Parkinsonís disease patients admitted to a teaching hospital (for surgery or treatment necessitated by falls or shortness of breath) was recently reported at the American Academy of Neurology. Ten patients were surveyed, along with their charts.

Led by Dr. Oksana Suchowersky (Calgary), of the Parkinson Study Group, the research team found a number of errors in the care of all but one patient. These included abrupt discontinuation of medication; entacapone continued though levodopa discontinued; inadequate doses of drugs ordered; dosing with haloperidol and metoclopramide (both of which are drugs contraindicated in PD); and drugs that were ordered correctly, but the nursing notes documented missed doses.

While it is true that antiparkinson medication schedules can be complex, such errors are unacceptable and reveal a significant lack of understanding of PD and its management by the hospital staff. The authors of the study strongly advise patients and their families to choose one family member to speak for each patient, to provide lists of current medications upon admission, to be vigilant about the medications given in the hospital, and that patients themselves should ask what they are taking before accepting each dose.

Source Date: May 11 2004
Source Publication: Parkinson's Disease Foundation