Labelling of injectable medicines, fluids and lines has been identified as a significant patient safety issue and is a recognised risk in the safe administration of injectable medicines.
Clear, standardised labelling of injectable medicines and fluids by the user at the point of preparation should help to reduce the risk of medicine administration errors.
National labelling recommendations
In November 2010, Australia’s Health Ministers, including the South Australian Health Minister, endorsed the National Recommendations for User-applied Labelling of Medicines, Fluids and Lines for implementation in Australian health services. These standards look at:
colour coded pre-printed medicine labels for use on dedicated continuous infusion lines
colour coding by medicine class in accordance with the Anaesthetic Labelling Standard
labelling of liquid medicines for oral, enteral and inhalational use
labelling of locked catheters
labelling of non-injectable medicines and fluids prepared in the same area as injectable medicines, and colour coding with a red St Andrews Cross watermark.
South Australian hospitals have the opportunity to submit suggestions and feedback (DOC 78KB) through the South Australian Change Register. Amendments made to the state register will be submitted to the national register. Major amendments will only be considered if accompanied by supporting audit data.
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