REQUIREMENTS FOR INTRAVENOUS SOLUTIONS/INTRAVENOUS
Any solution administered through a patient's veins must be:
a. Sterile. Sterile means that no living microorganisms are present in the
b. Pyrogen-Free. Pyrogens are substances which produce fever when injected
into the circulatory system.
c. Free from Visible Particulate Matter. Visible particles in an intravenous
preparation mean that the product should be discarded. These particles could have
been present in the solution when it arrived in the pharmacy or they may have been
accidentally added to the solution when other substances were added. Regardless of
origin, these visible particles, if intravenously administered, could cause a blockage in
the patient's circulatory system. Filters with very small pores are available which can
remove these visible particles as the product is being administered. But remember, the
origin of the particles is unknown--it is possible that some particles could be undissolved
drug. Removing the drug particles would be good, but the patient should receive the
prescribed amount of medication to achieve the desired therapeutic effect.
PRECAUTIONS PERTAINING TO FLUID THERAPY
You could be in the position of seeing that an intravenous solution prepared for a
patient does not do more harm than good. If you have received special training in the
preparation of intravenous solutions in the Pharmacy Sterile Products Section, you are
well familiar with the tasks you must perform In order to insure the patient receives what
is intended in an intravenous product. Below are some of the precautions which are of
primary importance in protecting the welfare of a patient who is on intravenous therapy.
a. Contamination. A solution intravenously administered to a patient must be
free from living microorganisms. Microorganisms are capable of entering the admixture
when it is prepared. Therefore, the person who prepares the admixture in the
Pharmacy Sterile Products Section has the great responsibility of using aseptic
technique. When there is doubt about the sterility of the admixture (or intravenous
solution), the product should be discarded. Microorganisms are also present in the
environment of the hospital room. They are on the hands of the person who will start
(i.e., begin the administration) the intravenous product. Therefore, this person is
responsible for using care and aseptic technique to make the venipuncture.