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 Safety Alert (Red), requiring immediate attention and action.
Safety Notice Amber Safety Notice (Amber), requiring risk assessment at the local level.
Safety Information Green   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

Number Type Issues covered Date of issue
SN:009/20 Safety Notice (Amber) Acetylfentanyl and fentanyl in non-opioid illicit drugs 16 October 2020
SI:005/20 Safety Information Green Safe use of disposable (single patient use) slings 24 September 2020
SN:008/20 Safety Notice (Amber) Illicit supply of counterfeit alpr​​azolam (Updated) 9 September 2020
SN:004/20 Safety Notice (Amber) Lantus discontinuation and introduction of new insulin glargine products 11 June 2020
SI:003/20 Safety Information Green The risk of toxicity from topical anaesthetic products 22 May 2020
SN:002/20 Safety Notice (Amber) Management of medication for patients with Parkinson disease 11 March 2020
SN:001/20 Safety Notice (Amber) Safe provision of sedating medicines on discharge from NSW Health facilities 18 February 2020
SA:001/20 Safety Alert Red LIFEPAK® 15 Monitor/Defibrillator defect correction - 2020 14 January 2020
SI:001/20 Safety Information Green Use of linen in radiological procedures potential artefact 13 January 2020
SN:014/19 Safety Notice (Amber) Ranitidine – Product Recall 4 October 2019
SN:013/19 Safety Notice (Amber) Incompatibility between oxygen cylinders with inbuilt regulators with Air/Oxygen Blenders 26 September 2019
SN:012/19 Safety Notice Amber Link adrenaline (epinephrine) 1 in 10,000 prefilled syringe - device failure 23 August 2019
SN:011/19 Safety Notice (Amber) Benzylpenicillin injection – disruption to supply 14 August 2019
SN:010/19 Safety Notice Amber Heparin sodium injection 5000 units/0.2mL - disruption to supply 5 August 2019
SN:007/19 Safety Notice (Amber) High Concentration Insulin Products (Updated)
(Supersedes SN:009/17)
24 June 2019
SN:004/19 Safety Notice Amber JJM Intraluminal Proximate Circular Stapler (ILS) 4 April 2019
SA:001/19 Safety Alert Red enFlow Fluid Warmers - Risk of Aluminium toxicity 13 March 2019
SN:021/18 Safety Notice Amber Discontinuation of nifedipine (twice daily products) and patient safety risks with alternative 20 December 2018
SN:020/18 Safety Notice Amber Salem Sump Nasogastric Tube Shortage 14 December 2018
SN:019/18 Safety Notice Amber Oxygen Cylinders with Integrated Valve Regulator 29 November 2018
SN:018/18 Safety Notice Amber Newborn Self-Inflating Bag (SIB) resuscitators 27 November 2018
SN:017/18 Safety Notice Amber Printing the correct ECG for patients
Correction to Para 2: QLD Health
27 November 2018
SN:015/18 Safety Notice Amber Parietex composite parastomal mesh hazard alert and recall 9 November 2018
SI:003/18 Safety Information Green Candida auris infection considerations for the transfer or repatriation of an overseas patient to a NSW hospital 7 September 2018
SN:012/18 Safety Notice Amber Rupture of membranes testing in maternity settings 20 August 2018
SN:009/18 Safety Notice Amber Intragastric Balloon Systems 6 August 2018
SN:008/18 Safety Notice Amber Return of Patients’ Own Medications 25 July 2018
SI:001/18 Safety Information Green ABO Compatibility for Blood Products in an Emergency 19 June 2018
SN:005/18 Safety Notice Amber Peri-operative risk of SGLT2 inhibitor–associated ketoacidosis 15 March 2018
SN:003/18 Safety Notice Amber Complications Associated with Inferior Vena Cava Filters 19 February 2018
SA:001/08 Safety Alert Red Vaccine storage and cold chain management 9 February 2018
SN:015/17 Safety Notice Amber Transvaginal mesh implants for Pelvic Organ (Vaginal) Prolapse
(Supersedes SN:010/17)
20 December 2017
SN:011/17 Safety Notice Amber Disposable Ventilator Catheter Mounts Failure 29 September 2017
SI:002/17 Safety Information Green Gadolinium-based contrast agents for MRI scans 15 August 2017
SA:004/17 Safety Alert Red HYDROmorphone (high-risk medicine): Changes to Dilaudid® injectable preparations 28 July 2017
SA:003/17 Safety Alert Red Infection from contaminated ultrasound gel 12 May 2017
SN:005/17 Safety Notice Amber Povidone-Iodine (PVI) Use in NSW Hospitals 19 April 2017
SN:004/17 Safety Notice Amber Infection post cardiopulmonary bypass associated with heater-cooler devices
(Supersedes SN:007/16)
3 March 2017
SN:003/17 Safety Notice Amber Glyceryl trinitrate (GTN) tablets - disruption to supply
(Supersedes SN:002/16)
8 February 2017
SN:002/17 Safety Notice Amber Identification of Post-Injection Syndrome Olanzapine Pamoate Long Acting Injection 8 February 2017
SI:001/17 Safety Information Green Choking Risk in Mental Health Consumers 6 February 2017
SN:001/17 Safety Notice Amber Vaccine cold chain management in NSW Facilities 2 February 2017
SA:002/17 Safety Alert Red Insufflator Gas Connectors 12 January 2017
SA:001/17 Safety Alert Red HYDROmorphone: High-risk medicine
(Supersedes SA:004/11 and SN:011/10)
10 January 2017
SN:013/16 Safety Notice Amber Implantable cardiac defibrillator and cardiac resynchronization therapy defibrillator devices 18 November 2016
SN:011/16 Safety Notice Amber Povidone Iodine for pre-operative antisepsis – Disruption to supply 8 November 2016
(revised 21 November 2016)
SN:010/16 Safety Notice Amber Medical gas cylinders
(Supersedes Safety Notice 004/10 issued on 22 April 2010)
10 October 2016
SN:009/16 Safety Notice Amber Avoiding thrombophlebitis with intravenous amiodarone
(Supersedes Safety Notice 003/09 issued on 11 February 2009)

29 September 2016
(revised 10 February 2017)

SN:008/16 Safety Notice Amber Comfort impregnated cloth topical skin products: potential for bacterial contamination 20 September 2016
SI:002/16 Safety Information Green Switching between Extended Release (XR) vs Immediate Release (IR) Formulations 25 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
SN:001/16 Safety Notice Amber Changes to Medicine Ingredient Names - April 2016 to April 2020 9 May 2016
SA:001/16 Safety Alert Red Product Recall Catheters with Beacon Tip Technology 6 May 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
SN:004/14 Safety Notice Amber Removal of Central Venous Access Devices (CVAD) 12 August 2014
SA:002/14 Safety Alert Red Potential bacterial contamination of propofol
Update: Quarantine of Provive and Sandoz propofol all sizes and batches lifted
2 May 2014
15 July 2014
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
SI:003/13 Safety Information Green 25l-NBOMe Potent hallucinogenic substance in NSW 4 December 2013
(revised 19 December 2013)
SN:003/13 Safety Notice Amber Voluven and Volulyte (hydroxyethyl starch) 5 September 2013
SI:002/12 Safety Information Green Measles Outbreak 31 August 2012
SI:001/12 Safety Information Green Antenatal magnesium sulphate infusion prior to preterm birth for neuroprotection of the foetus infant and child 4 May 2012
SA:002/12 Safety Alert Red Product Recall - CSL Human Albumin - Batches Released from Quarantine (Albumex 4, Albumex 20) 15 Mar 2012
SA:001/12 Safety Alert Red Product Recall CSL Human Albumin 08 March 2012
SA:008/11 Safety Alert Red Pneumocystis jirovecii Pneumonia (PJP) in transplant patients 19 December 2011
SN:015/11 Safety Notice Amber Bathing of Newborn Babies and Infection Prevention 22 November 2011
SN:013/11 Safety Notice Amber Management of medication for patients with Parkinson’s Disease (PD) 7 November 2011
SI:001/11 Safety Information Green Safe Use of Alcohol Based Skin Preparations for Surgical and Anaesthetic Procedures
(Supersedes Safety Information SI: 001/07 issued on 27 June 2007)
7 October 2011
SN:017/10 Safety Notice Amber Group A Streptococcal Maternal Sepsis 24 December 2010
SN:014/10 Safety Notice Amber Autonomic Dysreflexia
(Supersedes Safety Notice 014/10 issued on 26 October 2010)
1 November 2010
SN:010/10 Safety Notice Amber Correct identification of medication and solutions for epidural anaesthesia and analgesia 25 August 2010
SN:006/10 Safety Notice Amber Pathology Testing - Caesarean Section Operations 16 June 2010
SN:004/10 Safety Notice Amber Important Changes to Medical Gas Cylinders
(Superseded by Safety Notice 010/16 issued on 10 October 2016)
22 April 2010
SA:002/10 Safety Alert Red RECALL of Breathing Systems with Intersurgical #1986 Connector 13 January 2010
SA:001/10 Safety Alert Red RECALL of Unomedical - Endotracheal Tubes 8 January 2010
SN:022/09 Safety Notice Amber Safe use of Midazolam 18 December 2009
SA:006/09 Safety Alert Red Emergency/ Arrest Buttons 4 November 2009
SN:019/09 Safety Notice Amber Managing Pigtail Drains Safely 8 October 2009
SN:018/09 Safety Notice Amber Reducing Incidents Involving Tracheostomy Tube Care
To be read in conjunction with SN: 018/09
PD2006-098 - Tracheostomy - Unavoidable early (<72 hours) Tracheostomy Tube change
16 September 2009
SN:016/09 Safety Notice Amber Safe Instrumental Birth 28 July 2009
SN:014/09 Safety Notice Amber Retained or Broken Orthopaedic Surgical Equipment in Patients 9 July 2009
SA:003/09 Safety Alert Red Draeger Medical Babylog 8000 Plus Neonatal Ventilator 26 June 2009
SA:002/09 Safety Alert Red Guidewire Alert 16 June 2009
SI:003/09 Safety Information Green Varenicline (CHAMPIX)-Serious Psychiatric Side Effects 29 May 2009
SN:011/09 Safety Notice Amber Allopurinol and Azathioprine 7 May 2009
SN:009/09 Safety Notice Amber Acute Coronary Syndrome 28 April 2009
SN:008/09 Safety Notice Amber Insertion of intraocular lens
Recommended intraocular lens insertion process
(To be read in conjunction with SN: 008/09)
31 March 2009
SN:007/09 Safety Notice Amber Nasogastric Feeding Tubes for Infants and Children
27 March 2009
SN:006/09 Safety Notice Amber Wrong Route Errors with Oral Medication 25 March 2009
SA:001/09 Safety Alert Red PEEP Valve, Expiration Diverter Assembly 13 February 2009
SN:003/09 Safety Notice Amber Intravenous Amiodarone
(superseded by Safety Notice: 009/16)
11 February 2009
SI:001/09 Safety Information Green Drager Oxylog 2000 Transport Ventilator 8 January 2009
SN:012/08 Safety Notice Amber Autonomic Dysreflexia 16 December 2008
SI:003/08 Safety Information Green Whooping Cough 3 December 2008
SA:002/08 Safety Alert Red Peripherally Inserted Central Catheter (PICC) Line - Arrow 3 FG Brand
(Suspension lifted 24 Dec 08)
13 October 2008
SA:002/08 Safety Alert Red Peripherally Inserted Central Catheter (PICC) Lines
(Supersedes Safety Alert SA:001/08)
13 October 2008
SA:001/08 Safety Alert Red Peripherally Inserted Central Catheter (PICC) Lines 10 October 2008
SN:004/08 Safety Notice Amber Oxycodone (Revised)
Poster: Solid Oral Morphine and Oxycodone Products for Pain Relief
16 May 2008
SN:002/08 Safety Notice Amber Pulmonary Embolism: Diagnosis in Young People 29 January 2008
SA:004/07 Safety Alert Red Electronic Fetal Heart Rate Monitoring
(Supersedes Safety Notice SN:008/07)
4 October 2007
SN:013/07 Safety Notice Amber Extravasation of IV fluids: Care of the cannula site in neonates and children 21 September 2007
SA:003/07 Safety Alert Red Medtronic SynchroMed® EL Implantable Pump - Neurological drug delivery pumps 12 September 2007
SI:001/07 Safety Information Green Alcohol-Based Hand Cleansers and Fire
(Has been superseded by Safety Information SI: 001/11)
27 June 2007
SN:008/07 Safety Notice Amber Electronic Fetal Heart Rate Monitoring
(Has been superseded by Safety Notice SA:004/07)
8 May 2007
SA:002/07 Safety Alert Red Communicaton Systems 9 May 2007
SA:001/07 Safety Alert Red Fine Bore Nasogastric Feeding Tubes 3 May 2007
SN:004/07 Safety Notice Amber Shower Curtain and Curtain Tracks in Mental Health Facilities 28 March 2007
SN:003/07 Safety Notice Amber Creutzfeldt - Jacob Disease (CJD) Transmission During High Risk Surgical Procedures
(“dorsal route ganglia” amended to read "dorsal root ganglia" - updated 20 March 07)
19 March 2007
(revised 20 March 2007)
SN:005/06 Safety Notice Amber Safe Use of Fentanyl Skin Patches
(Web address for Analgesic Skin Patches publication updated on 22 February 2007)
23 Octobter 2006
(revised 22 February 2007)
SN:003/06 Safety Notice Amber Peiron Stent fracture in renal arteries October 2006
SN:002/06 Safety Notice Amber Cleaning of flexible endoscopes (reprocessing)
(Web address for Infection Control Policy updated on 26 February 2007)
September 2006
(revised 26 February 2007)
SI:001/06 Safety Information Green Alaris SE pumps recall, Filshie Clip System, peanut allergies, Bisphosphonates medications
(Web address for NSW Health peanut allergy publication updated on 23 March 2007)
8 September 2006
(revised 23 March 2007)
SA:002/06 Safety Alert Red Superseded by 04/06
SA:003/06 Safety Alert Red Ultravist-370 4 August 2006
SN:001/06 Safety Notice Amber Guidant Implantable Pacemakers 9 February 2006
Page Updated: Friday 16 October 2020