Skip to main content
  • Poster presentation
  • Published:

Northern Ireland Critical Care Incident Monitoring Study


The Northern Ireland Incident Monitoring Study is a prospective regional audit study designed to analyse occurrence of adverse events in ICUs. The project is based on the Australian Incident Monitoring Study. The aim of the study is to foster a culture of incident reporting and analysis in the ICU using an anonymous unified system across Northern Ireland to identify patterns amenable to change.


A database specifically designed for the collection of incident data anonymously in the ICU environment was developed. An incident was defined as 'an event that led to, or could have led to, patient harm if it had been allowed to proceed'. Data from each unit were analysed, by a central coordinator, in cycles of 4–6 weeks, and a collated report for the whole region generated periodically.


A total of 227 incidents were reported in the first data cycle across the seven ICUs, the mean cycle duration being 36.5 days and the median unit size nine beds (range 6–25). Table 1 shows the majority of events were drug related, followed by unit or patient management issues, incidents related to procedures, equipment issues and airway-related events. Patterns were identified across the units.

Table 1 Breakdown of total reported incidents in Northern Ireland


The project demonstrated that reporting statistics were enhanced with this unified anonymous, speciality-specific system than with previously used systems. The project has established the means to benchmark data between units and to identify patterns across the region.


  1. Rothschild JM, et al.: Crit Care Med. 2005, 33: 1694-1700. 10.1097/01.CCM.0000171609.91035.BD

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  2. Beckmann U, et al.: Anaesth Intensive Care. 1996, 24: 314-319.

    PubMed  CAS  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Hutchinson, A., McAllister, C. & Mirakhur, R. Northern Ireland Critical Care Incident Monitoring Study. Crit Care 12 (Suppl 2), P430 (2008).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • DOI: