In an intensive care unit (ICU), diverse types of injectable drugs are administrated as continuous infusions according to the condition of the patient. Since incompatibilities of injectable drugs can result in loss of efficacy of medications, it is important that pharmacists quickly recommend appropriate administration routes and provide information on compatibility. In this study, we developed a compatibility chart of frequently used continuous infusions in ICU and evaluated its usefulness.
The compatibility chart contained information on trade name, pH, pharmaceutical characteristics, and compatibility with other continuous infusions, for 35 injections. Compatibility determinations were based on information in package inserts, interview forms, and other publications. To evaluate the usefulness of the compatibility chart, we administered a questionnaire survey to 67 nurses and 29 physicians working in ICU.
The response rate of nurses and physicians was 100% and 65.5%, respectively. Among the questionees, 91.0% of nurses and 36.8% of physicians had used the compatibility chart. Of the questionees who used the chart, 86.9% of nurses and all physicians rated it as “very useful” or “useful.” Many nurses found that use of the compatibility chart shortened the investigation time of compatibility. Furthermore, this chart provided the pharmacists with quick access to compatibility information.
These results show that the compatibility chart for injections was useful in preventing injection incompatibilities in ICU.