How long are medications good after being drawn up in syringe?

  1. 0
    I am a new employee in an ASC - Mohs Surgery (skin cancer). We draw up the lido w/epi, bicarb & clindamycin into 3ml syringes and date them for expiration 2 weeks from being drawn up. Then, they also date it for another week out if the 2 week date comes and the syringe has not been used. At another derm office I worked in, they were only "good" for 1 week.

    When I asked why they aren't just dated with a 3 week expiration, I got the standard "That's the way it's always been done". AUGHHH!!!

    Does any one know how long a medication can be in a syringe?

  2. 5 Comments so far...

  3. 1
    I've seen this in several places I've worked. In fast paced areas with high pt turn around I believe that most drawn up meds would be used within the week. As long as staff checks expiration dates before drawing up meds and do not draw up a bunch at once there should be no expired products in the syringe you pick up. I also hope they are well versed in the proper techniques to prevent contamination. However, for the final word it sounds like we need to do a literature review!
    sallyrnrrt likes this.
  4. 1
    I work in MOHS surgery as well. In our office we usually go through 5 50ml bottles of Lido a week. Personally I would never use a med more ten 2 weeks old
    sallyrnrrt likes this.
  5. 1
    At my derm office we keep syringes for 1 week after drawing up lido w/ epi. We don't use clinda though so can't comment on that. We had an OSHA inspector come in and afterwards we limited use to 1 week. I don't know if it was his suggestion or just prompted a definite time limit on them, we used to use them until gone which didn't last long when you numb all day long!
    sallyrnrrt likes this.
  6. 1
    At my facility, if medications in syringes were prepare by the pharmacy they, they typically expire 24 hours after preparation. Some medications, however, depending upon sterility and/or stability issues might expire in considerably less time.

    Medication syringes prepared by nursing expire one hour after preparation.

    This question is best asked of your pharmacist.
    sallyrnrrt likes this.
  7. 0
    We're instructed to throw anything out if it hasn't been used within that shift. There should be something in your clinic protocol written down.