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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Medical Error Prevention (retired). Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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Near Misses

Near misses are also related to medical errors:

  • Near misses are medical events that avert unwanted consequences.
  • Someone or something identifies and corrects harmful influences before they cause adverse events.
  • The medical community sometimes calls near misses “close calls.”

For example, a transfusion is stopped when the nurse discovers that the identification number on a unit of blood does not match the unit number on the requisition. This is a near miss for the patient receiving a transfusion of incompatible blood.

Near misses often provide important insight into new ways of preventing medical errors. In this case, a flaw in Blood Bank cross-checking systems is discovered so it can be prevented from causing a medical error.