Information for compounding pharmacists on the use of intravenous (IV) needle-free injection devices

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Intravenous literature: Macklin, D. and Blackburn, P.L. (2013) Intravenous Needle-free Injection Devices: New Information for Compounding Pharmacists. International Journal of Pharmaceutical Compounding. 17(2), p.100-10.

Abstract:

By educating their clients (especially prescribing physicians, nurses, and home healthcare aides) about the advantages of using needle-free devices to administer intravenous medications, compounding pharmacists can help prevent complications associated with vascular access devices and needlestick injuries. Despite state and federal efforts to reduce the incidence of sharps injuries among healthcare workers, percutaneous needle-stick injuries remain a source of emotional stress, morbidity, and possible mortality in those individuals. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 50% or more of surveyed healthcare personnel do not report their occupational percutaneous injuries, and an estimated 385,000 sharps-related injuries occur annually among healthcare workers in hospitals alone. Because sharps injuries are associated with the transmission of more than 20 pathogens, including hepatitis B and C viruses and the human immunodeficiency virus, the potential burden of disease is great. For the intgravenous administration of medications, however, devices safer than those requiring the use of needles are available, and pharmacists have a key role in educating caregivers about needle-free equipment and its use. In this article, we explain the types of intravenous needle-free devices of interest to compounding pharmacists and the clients they serve, and we answer frequently asked questions about that equipment. Compounders who understand the design features and capabilities of such products, their clients’ intended use of those devices, patients’ specific needs can improve treatment outcomes and protect healthcare workers against needlestick injury.

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