Background In January 2018, neonatal intubation premedication kits containing atropine, suxamethonium and fentanyl were introduced alongside the implementation of dose- banding for these medicines according to patient’s weight and regardless of the patient’s gestation. A prescribing bundle on the electronic prescribing system was also created to automatically populate the doses based on the patient’s weight. Seven kits are produced each week by the Pharmacy Technical Services Unit.
Aim To assess the staff perceived impact of pre-prepared intubation drug kits with associated dose-banding of the medication.
Methods Three months after the kits were implemented, a survey was sent to all nursing and medical staff to establish their thoughts on the intubation process before and after the introduction of pre-made intubation drug kits.
Results 78 staff responded, 45.5% were doctors and 54.5% were nursing staff. The response rate was 53.8%. 78% of respondents reported being part of a difficult intubation over the last 5 years. The main problems identified, prior to the implementation of the neonatal intubation drug kits, included the intubation process (51.5%), preparation and communication prior to intubation, (13.6%), time drawing up intubation drugs (10.6%) and the patient having a difficult airway (9%). 87.2% found the premade intubation kits very useful, none of the respondents thought the kits were not useful. Four themes were found irrespective of whether the respondent was a doctor or member of nursing staff. The themes were: they made the process easier; quicker; reduced risk of error and helped provide better patient care. When asked if any complications had arisen, 4% reported that they had run out of kits and 2.7% said there was confusion when signing the kits out of the controlled drug (CD) register.
Three weeks out of 25 saw all the kits being used, average usage is 4 intubation kits per week. 97.4% reported the doses used were effective in sedating and paralysing the baby prior to intubation, 2.6% commented that they were somewhat effective but that in one occasion the paralysis had not been optimal, however they questioned whether the cannula had been functioning properly.
Conclusion The implementation of ready to use intubation drug kits has made the process of preparing for an intubation easier and quicker for all involved in the process. Having the dose banding set up on the electronic prescribing system has reduced the chance of prescribing errors and the pre- filled kits have reduced the chances of calculation errors during drug preparation. When the kits run out there are instructions in the guideline detailing how to make the required concentrations. As a result of this study standardised teaching videos were introduced from the beginning of July 18. Further simulations have been completed to ensure that all staff follow a standardised process. Next steps are to ensure that the documentation in the CD register includes all necessary information without any need for amendments. To overcome this, a stamp is being designed to use in the book each time a patient requires a kit, thereby providing a prompt for the nurses.
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