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Browsing by Subject "palliative care"

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  • Juvankoski, Jonna (2023)
    The medication process in palliative care is prone to medication errors and their significant consequences.The complex nature of palliative care medication includes frequent use of parenteral drugs and drug mixtures. Many of the medications used parenterally are considered high-alert medications which carry a significant risk of harm if used in error. By investing in medication safety initiatives, quality of palliative care can be improved, and costs reduced. The aim of this study was to identify the most common compositions of parenteral morphine and oxycodone mixtures administered in patient units providing special level (level B) palliative and hospice care in Helsinki. Identifying the most common compositions enables further researchon standardizing mixtures and centralizing compounding to improve medication safety. This study was conducted as a retrospective medical record review. The data was extracted from the electronic client and patient record system Apotti and consisted of medication administration records of 120 patients receiving special level B palliative and hospice care in Helsinki At-home Hospital and two patient wards in Suursuo Hospital. The data was analyzed with descriptive statistics using Microsoft Excel program. Patient characteristics, including age and ICD-10 diagnosis groups were analyzed. The most common drug combinations used in the mixtures and the combinations with the most variation were identified. Four drug combinations with the most unique compositions were selected for further analysis in which drug concentrations and daily drug doses were analyzed based on continuous infusion rates. 182 drug mixtures including morphine and 147 including oxycodone were identified. A diluent (NaCl 0.9%) was used in 225 mixtures and most often (178/225) the mixtures were diluted into volume of 20 ml. The most frequently used drug combination was comprised of morphine, midazolam, and haloperidol (26.4%), followed by the combination of oxycodone, midazolam, and haloperidol (21.8%). These combinations were also among the four combinations with the most unique compositions with the combination of oxycodone and midazolam and the combination of morphine, midazolam, haloperidol and glycopyrronium. In the four drug combinations with the most unique compositions, the variation was often relatively minor, and the largest variations were observed in opioid components: especially morphine was used in a wide variety of concentrations (2.00–17.91 mg/ml) and daily doses (15–260 mg). Most of the mixtures selected for further review (89/96) were compounded to provide a continuous infusion over a period of four days. In the studied units, mixtures with comparable compositions and features were frequently utilized, suggesting that standardization may be a feasible way to improve medication safety and quality of care in palliative care. As most of the mixtures were administered via PCA, standardization could be particularly advantageous. While it may be possible to standardize and centrally compound mixtures used in this study, more research is needed in several aspects, including physiochemical properties of the mixtures, meeting the clinical requirements in the units, and understanding the underlying factors behind medicine prescribing.