Survey of sterile product compounding practices in Canadian hospital pharmacies

D P Fitch, K W Hall
Canadian Journal of Hospital Pharmacy 1993, 46 (6): 249-60
Improper preparation of sterile products by hospital or community pharmacies may have serious consequences. Recent reports of deaths or injury to patients as a result of receiving products that were contaminated during their preparation in a pharmacy have highlighted the importance of maintaining good sterile compounding practices. Efforts are now underway to develop revised guidelines for the compounding of sterile products in order to minimize the potential for future recurrence of similar incidents. This survey study was undertaken to provide background data on current sterile products compounding practices and procedures in Canadian hospital pharmacies. It was also anticipated that these data would be helpful in identifying issues that needed to be addressed in the new guidelines. Surveys were distributed to 700 Canadian hospitals with 50 or more beds. Responses from returned surveys were entered into and analyzed using the database program RBase. A total of 306 hospital pharmacies responded, with 200 indicating that sterile products were compounded within their department. The information provided by respondents provides insight into the types of sterile products being prepared in Canadian hospitals, the training background of staff involved in sterile product preparation, the type of facilities and equipment used for compounding these preparations, and the quality control/quality assurance procedures that are in place in hospital pharmacies. The information arising from this survey underscores the need for comprehensive guidelines or standards with respect to sterile product compounding, and the need for improved training of personnel involved in sterile product compounding. The results should be of interest to hospital pharmacy administrators, pharmacy regulatory bodies, and government agencies responsible for assuring the safety of pharmaceutical products used in patient care.

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