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View Full Version : IV medications - bottles to bags


Shinna Minna Ma
02-12-2014, 02:42 PM
When did plastic bags begin to replace glass bottles for IV medication? When was the switchover pretty much complete?

kaltkalt
02-12-2014, 03:33 PM
Bags are for continuous drips. Bottles are still used for single injections. There's been no switch.

Canadjun
02-12-2014, 04:49 PM
Bags are for continuous drips. Bottles are still used for single injections. There's been no switch.

Huh? I assume the OP is referring to the larger bottles that hold a similar (the same?) amount as an IV bag does today, not individual bottles that you suck meds out of and inject into an IV line. I don't recall seeing any of the bottles instead of the bags in the past few decades.

Shinna Minna Ma
02-12-2014, 05:02 PM
Huh? I assume the OP is referring to the larger bottles that hold a similar (the same?) amount as an IV bag does today, not individual bottles that you suck meds out of and inject into an IV line. I don't recall seeing any of the bottles instead of the bags in the past few decades.

This is correct. I was referring to IVs that hang and drip through a catheter into the patient, not the vials used for injections.

nearwildheaven
02-12-2014, 05:03 PM
Some drugs still have to be packaged in glass, because they react with plastic.

SuperAbe
02-12-2014, 05:42 PM
This is correct. I was referring to IVs that hang and drip through a catheter into the patient, not the vials used for injections.

The two are not exactly exclusive: many IV medications (some antibiotics, for example) are "piggybacked (http://webmd.com/drugs/image.aspx?drugid=18415&drugname=ampicillin-sulbactam+IV&title=UNASYN+1.5+GM+PIGGYBACK+BOTTLE&monoid=00049002283&cb=mywebmd)" onto an existing IV drip and some are in (smallish) glass bottles.

To speak to your original question (when did liter-sized glass bottles stopped being used for routine IV fluid delivery), I can say I last saw them in use in the early 90s (and even then they were a wee bit unusual). One of the (many) benefits of bags vs bottles: less risk of air embolism (http://ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2876914/).

WhyNot
02-12-2014, 07:33 PM
I tried researching this for a class once, and it's one of the weirdest gaps I can find in Internet Knowledge. The best I could find was a timeline on Baxter's website (http://baxter.com/about_baxter/company_profile/history.html) that says a soft bag was introduced to market in 1970. But I could not find when glass bottles were no longer routine. I'm sure it wasn't an overnight switch, but I couldn't discover if it was a 20 month or 20 year transition.

I can say that I, born in 1974 and with an interest in Medical Stuff since about 1990, have never seen a bottle in use. They have always looked old fashioned to me, or like something that belongs in a museum or period piece movie.

There is an abstract to an article (http://ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8708844) that looks tantalizingly like what I want, but I've never had access to the entire text. Anyone here have a subscription to Journal of Intravenous Nursing?

Qadgop the Mercotan
02-12-2014, 07:52 PM
It was mostly glass bottles for IV solutions like LR and D5NS when I started med school in the very late 70's. And ISTR some still being around when I was an intern in 1983. But they vanished not long after that.

nearwildheaven
02-12-2014, 07:56 PM
The ones I've usually seen in glass were Procalamine (intravenous amino acids), amiodarone, amphotericin B, and some chemotherapy preparations. Intravenous ethanol is packaged in glass too, although that isn't used much any more now that we have less toxic methods for treating antifreeze poisoning.

GythaOgg
02-12-2014, 10:07 PM
Bags were standard when I graduated nursing school in 1985. I candy striped during the late 70s - very early 80s, but I can't really remember what was more common at that point. I dimly recall seeing bags.

kaltkalt
02-12-2014, 10:30 PM
Oh I thought it meant little bottles, with the rubber membrane on top etc.

nearwildheaven
02-13-2014, 07:21 PM
Propofol, which until the summer of 2009 was something none of us ever thought would be a household word, is also packaged in glass.

I found out today that NS (normal saline) is in very short supply, ostensibly because of a factory issue - but all of them at once? Wouldn't surprise me if the folks who do package it in glass will fire up the assembly line, and charge a small fortune while they're at it.

WhyNot
02-13-2014, 08:12 PM
Sterile 0.9% NaCl goes on backorder once every couple of years. The manufacturers say it's due to increase in demand. http://fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/DrugShortages/ucm314743.htm#sodiumch

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