Drugs given by a syringe driver: a prospective multicentre survey of palliative care services in the UK

Wilcock, Andrew; Jacob, Jayin K.; Charlesworth, Sarah; Harris, Elayne; Gibbs, Margaret; Allsop, Helen
November 2006
Palliative Medicine;Nov2006, Vol. 20 Issue 7, p661
Academic Journal
The use of a syringe driver to administer drugs by continuous subcutaneous infusion is common practice in the UK. Over time, drug combinations used in a syringe driver are likely to change and the aim of this survey was to obtain a more recent snapshot of practice. On four separate days, at two-week intervals, a questionnaire was completed for every syringe driver in use by 15 palliative care services. Of 336 syringe drivers, the majority contained either two or three drugs, but one-fifth contained only one drug. The median (range) volume of the infusions was 15 (9.5–48) mL, and duration of infusion was generally 24 hours. Only one combination was reported as visually incompatible, and there were 13 site reactions (4% of total). Laboratory physical and chemical compatibility data are available for less than half of the most frequently used combinations.


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