In critically ill patients, drug incompatibilities frequently occur because of the number of drugs to be administered through a limited number of infusion lines. These are among the main causes of particulate contamination. However, little data is available to quantify particle exposure during simultaneous IV-drug infusion. The objective of this study was to evaluate the particulate matter potentially administered to critically ill patients.
The particulate matter (between 1 μm and 30 mm) of infused therapies used in ICUs for patients suffering from either septic shock or acute respiratory distress syndrome was measured in vitro over 6 h using a dynamic image analysis device, so that both overall particulate contamination and particle sizes could be determined. Data is presented according to the recommendations of the European Pharmacopoeia (≥ 10 and 25 μm).
For the six experimental procedures (continuous infusion of norepinephrine, midazolam, sufentanil, heparin, 5% glucose, binary parenteral nutrition and discontinuous administrations of omeprazole, piperacillin/tazobactam and fluconazole), the overall number of particles over the 6-h infusion period was 8256 [5013; 15,044]. The collected values for the number of particles ≥ 10 and 25 μm were 281 [118; 526] and 19 [7; 96] respectively. Our results showed that discontinuous administrations of drugs led to disturbances in particulate contamination.
This work indicates the amount of particulate matter potentially administered to critically ill adult patients. Particulate contamination appears lower than previous measurements performed during multidrug IV therapies in children.