5 Trending Pharmacy Stories You May Have Missed This Week

Make sure to check out this week's not-to-be-missed pharmacy headlines.

Make sure to check out this week’s not-to-be-missed pharmacy headlines.

5. 5 New Best Practices for Medication Safety All Hospital Pharmacists Should Know

The Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) recently added new best practices for improving patient safety in hospitals.

According to ISMP, the purpose of the 2016-2017 Targeted Medication Safety Best Practices for Hospitals is to “identify, inspire, and mobilize widespread national adoption of consensus-based best practices on specific medication safety issues that continue to cause fatal and harmful errors in patients, despite repeated warnings in ISMP publications.”

Health-system pharmacists should get familiarized with the following 5 best practices in order to promote patient safety in their hospitals:

1. Segregate, sequester, and differentiate all neuromuscular blocking agents from other medications, wherever they’re stored in the organization.

2. Administer high-alert intravenous medication infusions through a programmable infusion pump using dose error-reduction software.

3. Identify which antidotes, reversal agents, and rescue agents should be administered immediately in emergency situations to prevent patient harm.

4. Eliminate all 1000-mL bags of sterile water labeled for injection, irrigation, and inhalation from all areas outside of the pharmacy.

5. When compounding sterile preparations, perform an independent verification to ensure that the proper ingredients (medications and diluents) are added, including confirmation of the proper amount (volume) of each ingredient prior to its addition to the final container.

4. AspireAssist Obesity Device Approved

The FDA has approved AspireAssist, a device intended to treat obese patients.

Obese patients aged 22 years and older who are interested in AspireAssist would have a tube surgically placed to drain a portion of their stomach after each meal.

“The AspireAssist approach helps provide effective control of calorie absorption, which is a key principle of weight management therapy,” said William Maisel, MD, MPH, deputy director for science and chief scientist in the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health, in a press release. “Patients need to be regularly monitored by their health care provider and should follow a lifestyle program to help them develop healthier eating habits and reduce their calorie intake.”

Surgeons insert the tube with an endoscope using a small incision into the patient’s abdomen. A port valve lies outside of the body, flush against the skin.

Around 20 to 30 minutes after a meal, the patient attaches the device’s external connector and tubing to the port valve. The valve is then opened to remove excess content over the course of 5 to 10 minutes. AspireAssist removes around 30% of the calories consumed.

3. 3 Zika Virus Facts Pharmacists Should Share with Patients

A new poll suggests that Americans have some awareness of the Zika virus, but there’s still more work to be done in educating the public, especially regarding transmission.

The good news is that the majority of the adults surveyed knew some general information about the virus, mosquitoes, and pregnant women. Around 75% knew that Zika was mainly transmitted via mosquitoes, and nearly 85% of the respondents knew pregnant women were especially vulnerable.

Here are 3 facts pharmacists should share with patients to raise awareness about Zika:

1. Patients can be infected with Zika through sexual transmission.

2. Zika infection can cause a variety of health problems, especially in babies.

3. There’s still no vaccine for Zika virus.

2. 3 Facts About Dormant Butt Syndrome

It may have a funny name, but dormant butt syndrome causes some patients to experience knee, back, or hip pain.

Chris Kolba, PT, PhD, MHS, a physical therapist at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, told Pharmacy Times that he coined the term after seeing patients come into his clinic with gluteus or butt muscle that wasn’t working as efficiently as it should.

“People usually chuckle or laugh when I tell them they have dormant butt syndrome,” Dr. Kolba said. “It’s a funny name that gets people’s attention, but it identifies a significant piece of the puzzle that is contributing to the complaints/problems that they are presenting with.”

Here are 3 things to know about dormant butt syndrome:

1. It’s caused by weak or inefficient butt muscles.

2. Both sedentary and active patients can develop dormant butt syndrome.

3. Not surprisingly, treatment requires getting your butt moving again.

1. Pharmacy Error May Have Contributed to Boy’s Death

A mother is claiming that a pharmacy’s dosing error led to the death of her 8-year-old son.

Jake Steinbrecher had been taking clonidine to control his hyperactivity for 3 years, but last Halloween, he immediately had a strange reaction to his usual medication. His mother, Caroline Steinbrecher, took him to the hospital, where doctors allegedly told the family that the medication caused brain swelling.

A test showed that the dosage Jake took was 1000 times the prescribed dosage, Denver7 reported. He allegedly took 30 mg instead of 0.03 mg.

After receiving treatment at the hospital, Jake left and was reportedly doing fine until earlier this month, when he needed to be readmitted. He died on June 8, 2016, and his autopsy report has not yet been released.

Caroline blames a pharmacy in Loveland, and the family’s attorney stated that the pharmacy staff allegedly admitted to the mistake. The pharmacist who allegedly made the mistake is still licensed, according to an investigation by Denver7.