NSW Health's Safety Alert Broadcast System (SABS) has been adapted from the UK's National Health Service Safety Alert Broadcast System. Its aim is to provide a systematic approach to the distribution and management of patient safety information to NSW health services. Each alert specifies action to be taken by health services, the timeframe in which such action must occur, and specific responsibility for the actions.

The Safety Alert Broadcast System Policy Directive PD2013_009 describes how SABS works. Basically, there are three types of notification:

Safety Alert (Red), requiring immediate attention and action.

Safety Notice (Amber), requiring risk assessment at the local level.

Safety Information (Green), ensuring that lessons learned from state-wide, national and international sources are shared actively across the NSW health system.

The SABS register

TypeIssues coveredDate of issue
Safety Notice (Amber)
Potential for error: look-alike medicines presented in blue medicine bottles 
​06 March 2023
Safety Alert RedEncephalitic Flaviviruses (MVEV, JEV, KUNV) - Update for Clinicians​23 February 2023
Safety Notice (Amber)
​Clinician Alert – Foodborne Botulism
​22 February 2023​
Safety Information GreenPotential for error: look-alike HYDROmorphone and morphine sulfate Medsurge® solution for injection
20 February 2023​
​SN:003/23Safety Notice (Amber)
​Supply disruption: Rapid Fetal Fibronectin (fFN) 10Q cassettes
​​14 February 2023
Safety Information Green
HIV Post Exposure Prophylaxis in Emergency Departments and Sexual Health Services
​10 February 2023

SN:002/23 Safety Notice (Amber) Updated: Transvaginal mesh implants for Pelvic Organ (Vaginal) Prolapse1 February 2023
Safety Information Green Updated: Potential for error: look-alike fentanyl and suxamethonium Juno® ampoules
31 January 2023
SN:001/23 Safety Notice (Amber) Disruption to supply – multiple antibiotic oral liquids
23 January 2023
SA:002/23 Safety Alert Red Updated: Defect alert: Computerised Ambulatory Delivery Device (CADD) Infusion pump disposables 12 January 2023
SA:001/23 Safety Alert Red Clinician Alert - Invasive group A streptococcal disease5 January 2023
SI:013/22 Safety Information Green Increased incidence of invasive meningococcal disease19 December 2022
SI:012/22 Safety Information Green Updated: Philips Respironics CPAP and bi-level masks containing magnets16 December 2022
SN:024/22 Safety Notice (Amber) Philips 12-Lead chest lead-set defect5 December 2022
SN:023/22 Safety Notice (Amber) Newly registered Australian product: Risks associated with lorazepam 4 mg/1 mL solution for injection 1 December 2022
SN:022/22 Safety Notice (Amber) Discontinuation of Jurnista® (HYDROmorphone hydrochloride) modified release tablets in Australia 29 November 2022
SN:021/22 Safety Notice (Amber) Breast implant associated-anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL) - Updated11 November 2022
SI:010/22 Safety Information Green
Essure contraceptive devices10 November 2022
SI:009/22 Safety Information Green Increased universal screening for syphilis infection in pregnancy7 November 2022
SN:020/22 Safety Notice (Amber) Updated: New recommendations for anticancer drug dosing in kidney dysfunction – ADDIKD guideline4 November 2022
SN:016/22 Safety Notice (Amber) Adaptors for administration of bronchodilators using metered dose inhalers via endotracheal tubes7 October 2022
SI:008/22 Safety Information Green Change to in-use shelf-life of Prograf®(immediate-release tacrolimus) capsules6 October 2022
SN:014/22 Safety Notice (Amber) Disruption to supply – tenecteplase (Metalyse®) and alteplase (Actilyse®) injection5 October 2022
SN:013/22 Safety Notice (Amber) Packaging error – Zoledronic acid (Osteovan®) solution for injection vial28 September 2022
SN:011/22 Safety Notice (Amber) Strong opioids detected in counterfeit ‘Kalma’ tablets26 August 2022
SI:006/22 Safety Information Green Unregistered benzodiazepines and counterfeit alprazolam products in NSW1 August 2022
SN:009/22 Safety Notice (Amber) Update: Philips Sound Abatement Foam on selected sleep and respiratory devices27 July 2022
SN:007/22 Safety Notice (Amber) Avoiding thrombophlebitis with intravenous amiodarone - Updated18 July 2022
SN:006/22 Safety Notice (Amber) Sterile Theatre Pack’ formulations of lignocaine (lidocaine) with adrenaline (epinephrine) and bupivacaine with adrenaline (epinephrine) injection disruption to supply – Updated07 June 2022
SN:005/22 Safety Notice (Amber) Infection post cardiopulmonary bypass associated with heater cooler devices - Updated23 May 2022
SN:003/22 Safety Notice (Amber) Risk of retained intubating stylet fragment in neonates19 April 2022
SI:001/22 Safety Information Green Recognition and prompt treatment of clozapine-induced constipation7 February 2022
SN:026/21 Safety Notice (Amber) Safety risks due to new labelling of intravenous calcium gluconate15 December 2021
SI:010/21 Safety Information Green Electronic Fetal Monitoring (EFM) during water immersion30 November 2021
SI:009/21 Safety Information Green Recirculating air filtration device use in NSW hospitals26 November 2021
SN:022/21 Safety Notice (Amber) Preparation of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines17 September 2021
SN:021/21 Safety Notice (Amber) Safety risks due to new labelling on the outer carton packaging of intravenous potassium chloride ampoules 10 September 2021
SN:019/21 Safety Notice (Amber) Flow sensors used in selected GE healthcare / datex-ohmeda anaesthesia machines30 August 2021
SI:004/21 Safety Information Green Povidone-Iodine Solution Use in NSW Hospitals19 August 2021
SN:017/21 Safety Notice (Amber) Illicit cocaine containing high levels of lidocaine (lignocaine)13 August 2021
SN:016/21  Safety Notice (Amber) Identification and monitoring of Post-Injection Syndrome Olanzapine Pamoate Long Acting Injection (updated)9 August 2021
SI:007/21 Safety Information Green Safe use of medications with multiple concentrations in Electronic Medication Management (EMM) systems9 July 2021
SI:005/21 Safety Information Green Reporting Adverse Events Following Immunisation23 May 2021
SI:003/21 Safety Information Green Paediatric stationary oxygen concentrator set-up - Absence of low flow alarm for flow rates less than 2 litres per minute20 May 2021
SN:010/21 Safety Notice (Amber) Requirements for post-transplant blood-borne virus surveillance of recipients of organs from increased-risk donors18 May 2021
SN:009/21 Safety Notice (Amber) Illicit cocaine containing strong opioids14 May 2021
SN:002/21 Safety Notice (Amber) Variability in oxygen delivery with bag valve masks15 February 2021
SI:001/21 Safety Information Green Minimising the risks of serious harm while switching antipsychotics20 January 2021
SN:001/21 Safety Notice (Amber) Discontinuation of nifedipine immediate release products (update)18 January 2021
SI:005/20 Safety Information Green Safe use of disposable (single patient use) slings24 September 2020
SI:003/20 Safety Information Green The risk of toxicity from topical anaesthetic products22 May 2020
SN:002/20 Safety Notice (Amber) Management of medication for patients with Parkinson disease (Supercedes SN:013/11)11 March 2020
SN:004/20 Safety Notice (Amber) Lantus discontinuation and introduction of new insulin glargine products11 June 2020
SN:001/20 Safety Notice (Amber) Safe provision of sedating medicines on discharge from NSW Health facilities18 February 2020
SI:001/20 Safety Information Green Use of linen in radiological procedures potential artefact13 January 2020
SN:013/19 Safety Notice (Amber) Incompatibility between oxygen cylinders with inbuilt regulators with Air/Oxygen Blenders26 September 2019
SN:012/19 Safety Notice Amber Link adrenaline (epinephrine) 1 in 10,000 prefilled syringe - device failure23 August 2019
SN:007/19 Safety Notice (Amber) High Concentration Insulin Products (Updated) (Supersedes SN:009/17) 24 June 2019
SN:019/18 Safety Notice Amber Oxygen Cylinders with Integrated Valve Regulator29 November 2018
SI:003/18 Safety Information Green Candida auris infection considerations for the transfer or repatriation of an overseas patient to a NSW hospital7 September 2018
SN:012/18 Safety Notice Amber Rupture of membranes testing in maternity settings20 August 2018
SN:009/18 Safety Notice Amber Intragastric Balloon Systems6 August 2018
SN:008/18 Safety Notice Amber Return of Patients’ Own Medications25 July 2018
SN:005/18 Safety Notice Amber Peri-operative risk of SGLT2 inhibitor–associated ketoacidosis15 March 2018
SN:003/18 Safety Notice Amber Complications Associated with Inferior Vena Cava Filters19 February 2018
SI:002/17 Safety Information Green Gadolinium-based contrast agents for MRI scans15 August 2017
SI:001/17 Safety Information Green Choking Risk in Mental Health Consumers 6 February 2017
SN:010/16 Safety Notice Amber Medical gas cylinders (Supersedes Safety Notice 004/10 issued on 22 April 2010) 10 October 2016
SI:002/16 Safety Information Green Switching between Extended Release (XR) vs Immediate Release (IR) Formulations25 August 2016
SN:004/16 Safety Notice Amber Assessment and management of risk of absconding from declared mental health inpatient units 22 June 2016
SN:003/16 Safety Notice Amber Use of Prone Restraint and Parenteral Medication in Healthcare Settings 14 July 2016
SI:001/16 Safety Information Green Increase in Cases of Invasive Meningococcal Disease 19 February 2016
SI:001/15 Safety Information Green E – Cigarettes, Oxygen Therapy, Burns and Fire Risk 20 January 2015
SI:001/14 Green Safety Information Correct Usage of Fume/Vapour Soaking Stations 24 January 2014
SN:001/14 Safety Notice Amber Use of Impregnated Chemical Disinfectant Wipe Systems for Reusable Medical Devices 24 January 2014
SN:015/11 Safety Notice Amber Bathing of Newborn Babies and Infection Prevention 22 November 2011
SN:017/10 Safety Notice Amber Group A Streptococcal Maternal Sepsis 24 December 2010
SN:006/10 Safety Notice Amber Pathology Testing - Caesarean Section Operations 16 June 2010
SN:022/09 Safety Notice Amber Safe use of Midazolam 18 December 2009
SN:016/09 Safety Notice Amber Safe Instrumental Birth 28 July 2009
SN:011/09 Safety Notice Amber Allopurinol and Azathioprine 7 May 2009

Current as at: Monday 6 March 2023