I work on an in-patient hem/onc floor at a busy teaching hospital in Iowa. We have a serious problem with "over-fill" in the chemotherapy bags. The total volume labels on the bags is never accurate, so nursing has to "guess" at what to set the iv pump rate at for a 24 hour infusion. The solution would seem easy, get an accurate total volume on the chemotherapy bag and set the rate from there. However, for reasons I am not completely sure of, this is not an option. We have been instructed to masking tape the chemo bag and mark the bag with times to bench mark the fluid level of the chemo at 3/4 completed, 1/2 , etc and monitor the level q2 during infusion. This, to me, does not seem like best practice. Anyone else have similiar experience?
Dec 18, '07
I thought I'd give you a response to how we dealt with this on our unit. I have been doing Oncology for 17 years and chair our Chemo Committee.
Our Pharmacists do know how much is added to each bag. We solved this by having the Pharmacy remove an equivalent amount from the bag of what the chemo is, first, then add the Chemotherapy. This way your totals and infusion should come out accurately.