Medication Safety

Publication Date: September 1, 2017


To prevent medication errors, perioperative nurses should:
• obtain and prepare one medication for one patient at a time;
• transfer only one medication at a time to the sterile field;
• verbally verify each medication with the scrub person and include the medication name, strength, dosage, and expiration date;
• transfer medication to the sterile field using aseptic technique;
• use sterile transfer devices or syringes to transfer medications from vials to the sterile field rather than removing rubber stoppers unless the stopper is designed to be removed (eg, has a removable metal band);
• collaborate with the scrub person to ensure all containers and syringes on the sterile field that contain medications, solutions, chemicals, and reagents are labeled immediately after transfer to the sterile field with the:
○ medication name;
○ strength;
○ dilution (and diluent, if used);
○ date; and
○ time the medication expires, if less than 24 hours;
• ensure labels only include approved abbreviations and dose expressions; and
• encourage use of tall man lettering for container labels when medications have look-alike names.

Recommendation Grading




Medication Safety

Authoring Organization

Publication Month/Year

September 1, 2017

Document Type


External Publication Status


Country of Publication


Inclusion Criteria

Female, Male, Adolescent, Adult, Child, Infant, Older adult

Health Care Settings

Hospital, Operating and recovery room

Intended Users

Surgical technologist, nurse, medical techologist technician, nurse practitioner, physician, physician assistant



Diseases/Conditions (MeSH)

D061214 - Patient Safety, D008509 - Medication Systems, D012449 - Safety


medication safety