Do-Not-Use Abbreviations

Abbreviation/Dose
Expression/
Stemmed Names
NOT ALLOWED ¯

Intended Meaning

Misinterpretation

Correction

MS

MSO4

MgSO4

Morphine or Magnesium Sulfate

 

Mistaken for incorrect medication - can mean either medication

Morphine Sulfate

 

Magnesium Sulfate

Q.D.

Q.O.D.

Every day

Every other day

Mistaken for each other

Write:  Daily

Write: Every other day

U or u

Unit

Read as a zero (0) or a four (4), causing a 10 fold overdose or greater (4U seen as "4" or 4 seen as 44").

"Unit" has no acceptable abbreviation. Use "unit"

IU

International unit

Misread as IV (intravenous).

Use "units".

Zero after decimal point (1.0)

1 mg

Misread as 10 mg if the decimal point is not seen.

Do not use terminal zeros for doses expressed in whole numbers.

No zero before decimal dose 
(.5 mg)

0.5 mg

Misread as 5 mg.

Always use the zero before a decimal when the dose is less than a whole unit.

CareNet/Organizational Policy and Procedures/Abbreviations List…. Do Not Use/accessed 4/4/12

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