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insulin syringe to draw up heparin ?
n/a

6 Posts

Posted:  18-Dec-2015 07:25
Hi i witnessed a nurse draw up heparin from a glass ampule with an insulin syringe and administer it to a patient.
Is this normal practice?
The reason I ask is that I read an article about glass shards and how you need to draw up from glass ampules with filter needles? However there was insufficient evidence as some other evidence said a needle no larger than 23 g acts like a filter needle.
What are your thoughts on this?
Della

1664 Posts

Posted:  18-Dec-2015 08:40
Filter needles are not widely available in general practice so that in itself is not particularly an issue, but I am extremely surprised (and a bit worried, if I'm honest) that someone on heparin isn't having it in pre-filled syringes, eg Clexane or Enoxaparin. 
n/a

6 Posts

Posted:  18-Dec-2015 11:19
Yes its very rare that's the second heparin injection I have seen , I guess he is on heparin for a reason and not clexane which is usually used.
I was just concernced as she administered the heparin with the same needle she used to draw up..
And I just wondered had anyone seen this before?
Della

1664 Posts

Posted:  18-Dec-2015 16:03
I would definitely change needle.
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Mimosa

528 Posts

Posted:  18-Dec-2015 19:04
Insulin syringes I measure in units and Heparin is prescribed as ?mls. I'm sure when we had this at the hospital honks ago the outcome was you shouldn't use insulin for anything other than insulin.

Hanging on in there
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karen.rudd

12002 Posts

Posted:  18-Dec-2015 19:41
Even in the dark ages 25 years ago as an ITU nurse we used 1ml syringes to draw up heparin and the prescription was written in mils not units and amount depended on the strength of the heparin? That was in response to the numbers of errors when written up in units only? I would also use a different needle to administer I presume the insulin syringes are cheaper than 1ml syringes? Even if needle is fine bore and unlikely to draw up glass fragments .... Wouldn't there still be a risk of blunting during this process? Find out who started the heparin and if this was started in secondary care and the patient was sent home with the insulin syringes or if your local anticoagulant services have an evidence based protocol to share regarding how it should be drawn up and administered?

Please be informed that the above is the opinion of the author and is in no way meant to be taken as instruction.karen
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n/a

6 Posts

Posted:  18-Dec-2015 23:56
Thanks all for your replys! I actually asked that particular nurse her reason behind her using an insulin syringe and it was simple .
She said she didn't have a subcut needles so had to use
an insulin needle and simply converted mls to units .
She also stated the needle is so fine that even if she drew up with a green (non filtered) needle first and then drew up with an insulin syringe it wouldn't make a difference. Re : glass shards. This makes sense. I suppose it's just another method of administration

The above is just opinions and should not be taken as direction..

karen.rudd

12002 Posts

Posted:  19-Dec-2015 14:56
Well I have yet to see anywhere that does not have any suitable needles for s/c administration? How strange?

Please be informed that the above is the opinion of the author and is in no way meant to be taken as instruction.

karen
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n/a

6 Posts

Posted:  19-Dec-2015 15:11
Let's just say management aren't the best on the ward ... And slack on ordering essentials.. Nurses are constantly running to other wards for basic drugs & equipment it's horrendous I really feel for them.
karen.rudd

12002 Posts

Posted:  19-Dec-2015 15:43
Is this in secondary care then X sarahx and in UK? I just assumed you were a practice nurse like the rest of us?Please be informed that the above is the opinion of the author and is in no way meant to be taken as instruction.karen
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