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Warning lack of line flushing leading to ‘under delivery’ of IV antibiotics

The under delivery of intravenous antibiotics in some NHS hospitals due to lack of polices and compliance may be contributing to antimicrobial resistance (AMR), according to a parliamentary report.

Findings in the report indicated that many health service organisations do not have policies in place to reduce the risk of under delivery and those that do can struggle to comply fully with them.

The report’s authors warned that the residual volume of antibiotic remaining in the line of the IV administration set can result in under delivery of up to 30% of the prescribed dose.

They said that, as a result, this could be leading to possible resistance within patients, owing to the accumulative effect. Nurses involved with compiling the document have called for action.

Based on the findings, the report recommended that all NHS organisations implement line flushing policies by late 2024, with support from the Department for Health and Social Care.

Read full story (paywalled)

Source: Nursing Times, 9 December 2023

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