Expiration dating of multidose vials

Administering parenteral medications has become routine for nurses across the healthcare spectrum.

Subcutaneous, intramuscular, intravenous, or intradermal routes all provide medications in a specific manner.

Individual insulin pens and premixed pre-measured syringes have frequently replaced nurse calculations in administering insulin for diabetic management.

Nurses new to our specialty may have little experience with what we consider a common practice.

The night shift nurse gives the morning insulin for any diabetic inmates at 5am just prior to breakfast. The line officer is eager to get to shift report and the inmates don’t want to miss the best selections in the chow line.

If a multi-dose vial is used on more than one patient (for example: TB skin test solution and infl uenza vaccine ), the vial should not be kept or accessed in the immediate patient area, such as patient rooms or treatment rooms.The new patient in the line had an order for both Regular and NPH insulin that required mixing.She picked up the Regular insulin and noted that the label indicated U-100.She interpreted that to mean there were 100 units of Regular insulin in the small vial and began to draw up the patient’s dose…..If you are a long-time nurse, especially in the correctional setting, you may be surprised to learn that drawing up insulin from multi-dose vials and mixing insulins in a single syringe are no longer as common a practice in traditional health care settings.

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