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In vitro study of simultaneous infusion of incompatible drugs in multilumen catheters.

Authors
  • Collins, J L
  • Lutz, R J
Type
Published Article
Journal
Heart & Lung
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
May 01, 1991
Volume
20
Issue
3
Pages
271–277
Identifiers
PMID: 1903369
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Multilumen catheters are commonly used to simultaneously administer incompatible drugs to critically ill patients. Though there are no known documented reports that this practice has been responsible for harmful events in patients, likewise there are no published data to verify the safety and efficacy of this practice. This study utilized an in vitro model flow system to examine the physicochemical phenomena that occur when two incompatible drugs (phenytoin and total parenteral nutrition) are simultaneously administered through multilumen catheters. Flow conditions and drug infusions in the venous model were designed to mimic the in vivo clinical situation to evaluate two central venous catheter types, a double- and a triple-lumen catheter. Video recordings were made of drug interactions, and assays of phenytoin concentration were performed on samples of the circulating fluid. White clouds of phenytoin precipitation were observed near the tip of the double-lumen catheter but not the triple-lumen catheter. Infusion through the double-lumen catheter resulted in an average of 6% loss of phenytoin to precipitate, which, on microscopic examination, appeared as spindle-shaped crystals 25 to 50 microns in length and 5 to 10 microns wide. In some cases, millimeter-size fragments of phenytoin precipitate were seen to dislodge from the tip of the double-lumen catheter. The adjacent orifices at the tip of the end hole of the double-lumen catheter appeared to permit interaction of the two effusing streams of the incompatible drugs, whereas the staggered orifices of the triple-lumen catheter reduce this interaction.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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