Medication safety and the administration of intravenous vincristine: international survey of oncology pharmacists

Gilbar, Peter, Chambers, Carole R. and Larizza, Maria (2015) Medication safety and the administration of intravenous vincristine: international survey of oncology pharmacists. Journal of Oncology Pharmacy Practice, 21 1: 10-18. doi:10.1177/1078155213517729


Author Gilbar, Peter
Chambers, Carole R.
Larizza, Maria
Title Medication safety and the administration of intravenous vincristine: international survey of oncology pharmacists
Journal name Journal of Oncology Pharmacy Practice   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1477-092X
1078-1552
Publication date 2015-02-08
Year available 2014
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1177/1078155213517729
Open Access Status
Volume 21
Issue 1
Start page 10
End page 18
Total pages 9
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher Sage Publications
Collection year 2015
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Purpose The risk of medication errors with vincristine administration is well documented. Our objective was to ascertain how vincristine is administered worldwide and determine what strategies for preventing the accidental intrathecal administration of vincristine are in place.

Methods A survey, comprising 28 questions, was distributed to 363 International Society of Oncology Pharmacy Practitioners members from 42 countries via email. Questions were asked on methods of vincristine administration, intrathecal drug administration and strategies used to prevent medication errors. A reminder was sent and the survey was available on the International Society of Oncology Pharmacy Practitioners website. Only one survey per institution was requested.

Results In all, 62 responses from 15 countries were received, with the majority from Australia. Vincristine was dispensed in mini-bags in 77.4% of centres, though some also used syringes. Syringes were used in 31.1% of centres, with half these doses prepared undiluted. Administration took 5 to 15 minutes in most centres (78.8%). The most common reasons for still using syringes were perceived risk of extravasation and faster infusion time. Despite numerous vincristine administrations, extravasation was very rare. Other recommended strategies for error prevention were in use in the majority of centres.

Conclusion Comparisons with three previous surveys are difficult as the majority of respondents in those studies were from the USA. A number of areas appear to have improved, particularly the preparation of vincristine in mini-bags, but they are far from perfect. Deaths continue to occur following accidental intrathecal administration of vincristine. International Society of Oncology Pharmacy Practitioner members are urged to lead the way in incorporating strategies for prevention into institutions worldwide.
Keyword Medications errors
Prevention
Survey
Vincristine
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Published online ahead of print 13 Jan 2014

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2015 Collection
School of Medicine Publications
 
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