Cooper DM, Rassam T, Mellor A. Non-flushing of IV administration sets: an under-recognised under-dosing risk. Br J Nurs.. 2018; 27:(14)S4-S12

Let's standardise practice

25 April 2019
Volume 28 · Issue 8

There has been quite bit of discussion recently about intravenous therapy practice concerned with the underdosing of intravenous medication when disconnecting infusion sets. It is suggested that when administering small-volume intermittent drug infusions, around 5% to 20% of the prescribed dose is not being infused and remains in the administration set at the end of the infusion and is discarded. A handful of studies support this assumption (eg, Cooper et al, 2018) and that this may pose a risk to patients because they do not receive the total amount of prescribed drug, although it is clear that this may be a problem we just do not know what effect this has on patient outcomes. None of the evidence has looked at the level of drug in the blood plasma to see if the therapeutic range is not being achieved, or if the duration of treatment is longer because the full dose might not be being infused.

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