Search Strategies

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Chapter: Pharmacovigilance: Fatal Medication Errors and Adverse Drug Reactions - Coroners’ Inquests and Other Sources

In the first series, we searched a classified card index for entries for contraception, dental deaths, drug therapy, operations plus anaesthesia, drug idiosyn-crasy, mischance, accident, misadventure and medical mishap.


SEARCH STRATEGIES

In the first series, we searched a classified card index for entries for contraception, dental deaths, drug therapy, operations plus anaesthesia, drug idiosyn-crasy, mischance, accident, misadventure and medical mishap. We did not include deaths due to anaesthetic technique in the search.

In the second series, a computer database, which held an index of cases since 1995 was used, in addi-tion to the classified card index. We searched the database using the terms ‘therapeutic/accident’, ‘ther-apeutic/misadventure’, ‘medical mishap’ and ‘medical misadventure’.

For this current series, we hand searched the Coroner’s determination, i.e. the official recording of the facts and verdict, to identify any deaths that mentioned a drug in the case description, the cause of death or the Coroner’s verdict. We excluded cases in which illegal drugs were used and where the patient had taken a deliberate overdose of a drug, as in previ-ous periods. We also excluded cases where an open verdict was returned.

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