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Medication 20% Rule.

NICU   (8,998 Views 19 Comments)
by kv07 kv07 (New Member) New Member

3,842 Visitors; 89 Posts

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Hello ALL.

I just recently started on a NICU unit and had just a BRIEF overview on the 20% rule of medication administration. Do all NICU units use this rule???? I am very confused as I am trying to work on some problems right now. All the diluting and etc!! If the syringe size is 1 mL, minimum accuracy is 0.2 mL.

Will someone please try to explain this to me or be kind enough to share an example?

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babyNP. has 10 years experience.

2 Followers; 26,722 Visitors; 1,720 Posts

Never heard of it. Pharmacy does most of our mixing. We will dilute fentanyl and methadone, but my impression was that it was because the amounts can come out to 0.01 or 0.03mL that can be more easily squirted out on accident. Fentanyl comes in vials of 100mcg/2mL and we dilute it to a concentration of 100mcg/10mL (10:1)

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NicuGal has 30 years experience and works as a once a manager, now a staff nurse, preceptor, educ.

21,940 Visitors; 2,743 Posts

I've never heard of it either. Our pharmacy mixes all our Meds except for a select few. We just draw up or are dispensed what we need, put it on the med line or push it in if it is less that the amount to purge our line and give/flush in.

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littlepeopleRNICU has 7 years experience and works as a RN.

8,337 Visitors; 476 Posts

I have only been in the NICU for about 6 weeks, but I haven't heard of it either. The practice I've been taught so far is summed up by what the other two posters have said already. Granted, there is a ton/many situations that I still have not seen yet, I'm very sure.

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Bortaz, RN has 10 years experience and works as a NICU.

1 Article; 35,048 Visitors; 2,626 Posts

We do the same as babyRN. I shiver at the thought of some of our nurses mixing meds...

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walkingrock has 40 years experience as a ADN and works as a staff RN NICU.

5,090 Visitors; 171 Posts

never heard of it either

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KBICU has 3+ years experience and works as a BSN, RN, CCRN, TNCC.

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Only heard of the 50% rule. If a med is missed at say 8 am and is scheduled again at 2pm (say BID) you can give the 8 am dose up until 11 am (6 hours until next dose, so you can give it half the time between the next dose... 3 hours before the next dose is scheduled to be given) my guess is the 20% rule is some form of this

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helicoptergal is a BSN, RN and works as a NICU RN, Homesick Paramedic.

1 Article; 3,636 Visitors; 140 Posts

Hi we use the 20% rule in the NICU. We only use it on administration of any narcotic or sedation medication. We draw up 20% of the total amount of the medication and do our medication drug calculations based on this to get the most accurate safe medication doses to give to the pts. For example 100mcg in 1ml the 20% or 0.2ml amt 1st drawn up is 10mcg. If the dose is 2mcg, then we will reconstitute the 0.2ml of Fentanyl with 0.8ml of Sterile water to = 10mcg in 1ml. Then we push out again to 0.2ml which = 2mg of Fentanyl and reconstitute with 0.8ml of Sterile water and then administer to the patient. This process is witnessed by another RN. Hope this helps.

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MiniBabyRN has 1 years experience and works as a RN.

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Woah, sounds complicated!

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NicuGal has 30 years experience and works as a once a manager, now a staff nurse, preceptor, educ.

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Wow. That does seem complicated and time consuming!

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Bortaz, RN has 10 years experience and works as a NICU.

1 Article; 35,048 Visitors; 2,626 Posts

Hi we use the 20% rule in the NICU. We only use it on administration of any narcotic or sedation medication. We draw up 20% of the total amount of the medication and do our medication drug calculations based on this to get the most accurate safe medication doses to give to the pts. For example 100mcg in 1ml the 20% or 0.2ml amt 1st drawn up is 10mcg. If the dose is 2mcg, then we will reconstitute the 0.2ml of Fentanyl with 0.8ml of Sterile water to = 10mcg in 1ml. Then we push out again to 0.2ml which = 2mg of Fentanyl and reconstitute with 0.8ml of Sterile water and then administer to the patient. This process is witnessed by another RN. Hope this helps.
whats the point?

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helicoptergal is a BSN, RN and works as a NICU RN, Homesick Paramedic.

1 Article; 3,636 Visitors; 140 Posts

The point is that is our policy, and what our hospital deems as safe administration of narcotics and sedation. Yes time consuming, however it gets fast with addition into your daily practice.

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