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ASHP Addresses Small-Volume Parenteral Solution Shortages

Fact sheet developed to provide outline of potential actions for health care organizations


MONDAY, Dec. 4, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- A fact sheet to aid health care organizations in managing shortages of small-volume parenteral (SVP) solutions has been developed by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) and the University of Utah Drug Information Service. This resource was presented at the mid-year clinical meeting and exhibition of the ASHP, held from Dec. 3 to 7 in Orlando, Fla.

The fact sheet provides health care organizations with steps they can take to conserve products. These include using alternative methods of administration such as oral dosage forms, intramuscular injections, or subcutaneous injections; changing electronic health records to allow use of either dextrose or saline for drugs compatible with both solutions; and using saline flush syringes, 500 mL bags, or 1 L bags to start intravenous lines.

The fact sheet also urges health care organizations to assess SVP solution supply, direct current supply to areas of greatest need, use premixed solutions when possible, and only compound SVP solutions when all other options have been exhausted.

"Shortages of SVP [solutions] can have a significant impact on the safety and quality of patient care in hospitals and health systems," Douglas Scheckelhoff, ASHP Senior Vice President, Practice Advancement, said in a statement. "Our recommendations will help pharmacists and other health care providers determine the best course of action to conserve this vital product and mitigate the potential harm to patients."

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