TUESDAY, June 16, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Inappropriate prescribing of intravenous (IV) fluids most often involves incorrect volumes and types of IV fluids prescribed, according to a review published online June 11 in the Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics.
X. Gao, from The First Affiliated Hospital in Guangzhou, China, and colleagues conducted a systematic review to examine inappropriate prescribing of IV fluids in adult patients.
The researchers found that the most common type of inappropriate prescribing was incorrect volumes and types of IV fluids prescribed, classified as misprescribing. Patients on IV fluid therapy were often prescribed a greater volume of fluid and amount of sodium in excess of normal requirements. Before prescribing IV fluids, doctors did not always check body weight, serum electrolyte level, and serum creatinine. Incomplete/incorrect prescription writing was also another common type of inappropriate prescribing. Insufficient knowledge and training of prescribers could cause these common inappropriate prescribing practices. Ignorance of the importance of IV fluid also contributed to inappropriate prescribing behaviors.
"There is an urgent need to make doctors aware of these problems and enhance appropriate training on IV fluid prescribing, especially on the appropriate volume and amount of electrolytes," the authors write. "Pharmacists could exert a role in reviewing the fluid prescription chart for improving clinical practice."