The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2011 OPEN FORUM Abstracts

COMPARISON OF DRUG TEMPERATURES DURING TRANSPORT BY RESPIRATORY THERAPISTS USING THE ISOTHERMAL MEDIPAC DEVICE, LAB COAT POCKET, MEDICATION CARTS ON WHEELS, AND PYXIS MACHINES.

Daniel J. Grady, Terrence F. Smith; Respiratory Care, Mission Health System, Asheville, NC

Background: Joint Commission 2011 Standards for medication management require that "hospitals store medications according to the manufacturers'recommendations," which; generally corresponds to a temperature range between 68 and 77 degrees F for many Respiratory Care medications. The purpose of this study was to compare medication temperatures during different methods of drug transport by Respiratory Therapists. Methods: A total of 124 (n = 124) samples of 5.0 ml, unit dose, normal saline bullets were divided into four equal groups: Group 1: medications transported in scrub/lab coat pockets by Respiratory Therapists (n =31); Group 2: medications carried in the Isothermal MediPac device (n =31)(www.Outcome Solutions.net)after insertion of refrigerated gel pad, Group 3: medications transported in Carts on Wheels (COWS)n = 31 (Howard Hi-Prodigy Cart, Howard Medical) and Group 4(n = 31)medications stored in automated Pyxis machines. The saline medications were randomly placed in 7 Pyxis machines for a minimum storage time of 1 hour. For the 3 methods of transport, the saline samples were measured for temperature after a minimum transport time of 1 hour. Descriptive statistics and a student "t" test(alpha = 0.05) were calculated for each group. Results: One hundred per cent (100%) of the medication samples transported in the Isothermal MediPac devices (mean = 73.9, sd= 1.48)and in the Howard Carts on Wheels (mean = 73.7, sd= 1.27)were within the manufacturer recommended temperature range of 68-77 degrees F. Approximately 50% of the data for medication samples transported by Respiratory Therapists in pockets and 48% of the data for medications stored in the Pyxis machines were greater than the upper recommended limit of 77 degrees F. Statistically significant differences in medication temperature exist between drugs stored in the Pyxis machines, and medications transported in the Isothermal MediPac device (p = 0.0006) and the Howard Carts on Wheels (p = 0.0001). Drug temperature measurements which were outside the manufacturer recommended range of 68 - 77 degrees F were calculated as percentages for each group and are shown in the table below. Conclusions: The Isothermal MediPac device and the Howard Carts on Wheels maintained 100 per cent of the medication samples within the manufacturer recommended storage range for temperature, and saline medications were significantly cooler than those stored in Pyxis machines or carried in pockets.
Sponsored Research - None
Comparison of Drug Temperatures During Transport by Respiratory Therapists