Ampules still being used, Ouch!

  1. I have opened several of these little stinkers and hate it every time. I use a 2x2 and have always broken the top away from me. Well, I opened a defective one last night! The top came off and broke in a strange way. The bottom portion still had a large triangular shaped piece attached and Yep, SLICE! I sliced my thumb pretty bad. A nice slice from the center of my Thumb pad to under the thumb nail. I was bleeding like a stuck pig! It did not hurt but it bled for quite a while. One of the nurses I work with put a steri-strip on it. We then proceeded to wrap it to with-in an inch of its life. I woke up today because my poor finger was throbbing. It is a little swollen today but OUCH! It really hurts.

    Why do we still have to use these antiquated little forms of medication. Hasn'ttechnology advanced enough to place these meds in a normal vial with a rubber stopper that can be pushed inside?
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  2. 72 Comments

  3. by   santhony44
    I suppose those aren't considerd "hazardous" because the only blood involved is your own. They really shouldn't be used.

    "Ouch" is right. I have a scar on my right index finger from the exact same thing happening to me over 20 years ago. I bled all over the place and got two stitches.
  4. by   NurseyPoo
    I probably should have received a few stitches myself but I just did not feel like running down to the ER in the middle of the night. The steri-strip seems to be holding things together for now.
  5. by   TazziRN
    I've never cut myself on the 1-ml amps, but the 5-ml ones are vicious!

    I've also harpooned myself with an 18-g filter needle, when trying to draw up several vials of Mannitol in a hurry. Still have a good scar from that one.
  6. by   rjflyn
    You need to talk to your hospital pharmacist. They should be able to all but do away with ampules. Off the top of my head I can only think one med in particular that I havent seen any other way. Make that 2 actually- Terbutaline and digoxin. Fortunately both are small amps and can be easily broken with the technique I use- which is to tear the end off an alcohol prep, place it over the end and use that to break the amp, this generally traps the whole end of the amp.


    The last amp to get me was a 5ml one that contained metoprolol- which fortunately is avalible in vials. Like I said talk with the pharmacy.

    Also be sure to make out an incident report. If risk management sees enough of them for this they might push for a change if pharmacy is not willing. It just takes one employee getting MRSA or other infecton from an apparently minor injury to effect change.

    RJ
    Last edit by rjflyn on Sep 27, '06
  7. by   rjflyn
    I have found liquid bandaid from the drug store works good to seal small wounds and abrasions.

    Rj

    Quote from abu1030
    I probably should have received a few stitches myself but I just did not feel like running down to the ER in the middle of the night. The steri-strip seems to be holding things together for now.
  8. by   NurseyBaby'05
    I use a still wrapped 2x2. There's two of them in there plus the two layers of paper. Knock on wood. I haven't gotten cut yet.
  9. by   neetnik461
    one of our drug reps recently provided our unit with a box of disposable ampule openers like those pictured on this link: https://www1.fishersci.com/coupon?gid=21203&cid=1333

    perhaps you could talk to your nm about purchasing these for your floor? they are convenient and work great!

    otherwise, there are also ampule openers you can buy for personal use, as pictured on this link: http://www.hcl-intl.cc:8080/mall/more.asp?fmmore=7371

    i haven't used one of these contraptions, but i'm sure it's safer than the old 2 x 2 guaze method (in which i have destroyed my fair share of ampules too!).

    ampules are a pain, but my biggest safety gripe right now has to do with nimodipine, which is a popular drug given to prevent vasospasm in patients with head bleeds. this med only comes in large capsule form and cannot be crushed. so in order to administer it to patients unable to take po (which is the majority of patients in icu), the nurse has to puncture the capsule (with a needle) and squeeze the liquid medication out. the liquid is very viscous and slippery. several of my co-workers have suffered needle pokes because of this (fortunately i'm not one of them).
  10. by   NurseyPoo
    The charge nurse had me fill out the incident report. She apparently cut her self the other day in the same manner. We are hoping this changes and the hospital does away with the ampules.
  11. by   CoffeeRTC
    I haven't seen them in years! Sooo what meds are still coming in them?
    I think the last thing I used was phenergan?
  12. by   tridil2000
    Quote from rjflyn
    You need to talk to your hospital pharmacist. They should be able to all but do away with ampules. Off the top of my head I can only think one med in particular that I havent seen any other way. Make that 2 actually- Terbutaline and digoxin. Fortunately both are small amps and can be easily broken with the technique I use- which is to tear the end off an alcohol prep, place it over the end and use that to break the amp, this generally traps the whole end of the amp.


    The last amp to get me was a 5ml one that contained metoprolol- which fortunately is avalible in vials. Like I said talk with the pharmacy.

    Also be sure to make out an incident report. If risk management sees enough of them for this they might push for a change if pharmacy is not willing. It just takes one employee getting MRSA or other infecton from an apparently minor injury to effect change.

    RJ
    we still have phenergan and sub q epi in ampules.
  13. by   CHATSDALE
    I take b-12 sq - the last batch [big batch so it will probably take a year to get rid of them] were in two cc ampules these were shipped from europe they must have some STRONG nurses there because these are hard to snap open
    i cut myself on the knuckle and every time i bent my finger it would open up again
    i really hate them because they are difficult to break and because they come in the two cc which because i have 1cc syringes i have to stick myself twice
  14. by   NurseyPoo
    The little culprit/offender was Nubain, 1cc.

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