Article Text

Medication management in people with Parkinson's disease during surgical admissions


Background Patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) may experience problems in hospital, with their medication being withheld or inappropriate medication being prescribed. Since surgical admissions present particular risks, the authors examined the management of patients with PD on surgical wards.

Methods All patients with PD admitted to surgical departments in Aberdeen Royal Infirmary during an 18-month period were identified. Medical and nursing notes were reviewed retrospectively, and drug prescription and administration were studied in detail. All documented complications were recorded.

Results 59 surgical admissions (51 receiving PD medication, median duration 6 days) were studied. 71% had missed doses of PD medication, with 34% missing over 10% of prescribed doses. Values were similar for levodopa and agonists. Overall, 12% of all prescribed PD medication was missed (mean 0.7 missed doses per patient per day). No reason for missed doses was recorded in 64% of cases, while inappropriate reasons included ‘out of stock’ (12%) and ‘nil by mouth’ (8%). Centrally acting antidopaminergic drugs (mainly antiemetics) were prescribed in 41% of cases, and administered in 22%. Complications, most commonly neuropsychiatric, were documented in 69% of non-day-case admissions.

Conclusion Poor prescribing and incomplete drug administration are common in patients with PD on surgical wards. Measures to improve management are identified.

  • Parkinson's disease
  • management
  • surgery
  • complications
  • levodopa

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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