Update on Adrenaline 1:1,000 ampoules

Yellow kit bag

There is a national shortage of pre-filled adrenaline 1:1,000 syringes. This is likely to continue for some months resulting in a need for the Trust to restock with ampoules. These were previously replaced with the pre-filled syringe to reduce the risk of administration by a non-approved route, namely intravenously. This is a strong and highly concentrated drug and if it is given to patients via IV route, it can cause cardiac problems. This is used by senior doctors with the patient under close supervision in the supportive hospital environment. 

There is however a greater risk if we looked to withdraw adrenaline 1:1,000 therefore we will stock ampoules as required.

As a clinician it is timely that we remind you:

  • to check the medication before preparation and prior to administration
  • that you consider the correct route for your medication – in this case intramuscular (IM)
  • that you plan your treatment accordingly to benefit and need – in this case IM prior to any thought of cannulating (unless clinically indicated)
  • organise drug bags to identify the ampoules correctly, giving space to isolate these ampoules where possible
  • to ensure that you double check again your dose and route.

Published 18th July, 2016

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