Development of an Easy, Safe and Effective Method to Identify Drug Incompatibilities

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Drug therapy is a complex process with innumerable parameters modulating its success and safety. The most vulnerable patients at risk of increased drug errors are those who require intensive care treatment. In such patients, multiple co-morbidity and multiorgan failure are frequent, with increasing mortality rate, oral drug treatment is often impossible in the initial phase of ICU admission. Making parenteral drug administration unavoidable. Parenteral drug administration is a standard that is often complicated by the fact that the number of concurrently administered drugs exceeds the number of available infusion lines, this potentiates drugs being administered through the same lumen/ line (Y- site administration), thus introducing another risk factor known as drug incompatibility (Thilo, 2008). Incompatibilities become a major risk in intensive care units (ICUs), due to the large portion of parenteral drug administrations, the need for constant drug infusions (e.g., Inotropes support) and the limited number of independent intravenous lines in critically ill patients.
Pharmacotherapeutic options have increased recently for intensive care units and have also been linked to the increasing complexity of drug treatment due to risk of medication errors and incompatibilities. According to Thilo et. al (2008), medication errors have been identified as a major factor limiting effectiveness and the safety of drug treatment. The errors are of particular importance for parenteral drug administrations are physiochemical incompatibilities of intravenous solutions as they impair the efficacy of the drug or increase the risk for adverse effects. Ad...

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