Intravenous drug administration infection risks


Intravenous literature: Curran, E. (2011) Intravenous drug preparation: the infection risks. British Journal of Nursing. 20(14), Supplement, p.4-8.


The preparation of intravenous drugs is a common yet inherently dangerous nursing procedure. Potential errors associated with this procedure include incorrect drugs, doses and routes of administration. As a consequence of these recognized risks, a variety of checks are used to optimize safety. This paper explores the literature around infusate contamination, which can cause infusate-related bloodstream infection (IR-BSI). In addition, this paper will discuss the mechanisms of infusate contamination, as well as details of the types of microorganisms that cause contamination and the types of drugs that enable proliferation of microorganisms. Deficits within current guidance are revealed. The paper concludes that IR-BSI is a significant but under-recognized risk to patients. As microbial contamination sufficient to cause IR-BSI is not detectable to the naked eye, those who prepare intravenous drugs must be more aware of contamination risks and how to reduce them.

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