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Drug administration

Patients offered guidance on delivery of specific medicines through enteral tubes

A series of guides for patients and carers on giving specific medicines through enteral feeding tubes has been launched by the team behind NEWT Guidelines, which provide information for healthcare professionals on medicines management of patients with enteral feeding tubes or swallowing difficulties.

Each of the myNEWT Guides contains instructions for patients and carers on how to administer a single formulation of a prescribed medicine when there is an enteral feeding tube in place, in order to reduce the likelihood of tube blockage, which can result in missed doses of medicines and reduced nutrition for the patient. The guides, produced through a collaboration of the pharmacy and nutritional support teams at Wrexham Maelor Hospital in Wales, can be downloaded to electronic and mobile devices.

“MyNEWT Guides are not intended to provide clinical guidance or to aid decision-making regarding the best formulation to use for an individual patient. These decisions should be made by a health professional with reference to the main drug monograph in the guidelines, where additional information is provided,” says Jennifer Smyth, senior pharmacist, critical care at Wrexham Maelor Hospital. “Once an appropriate decision has been made, however, the myNEWT Guide which relates to the formulation can be provided to support patients and carers with a step-by-step summary of how to administer the chosen medicine.”

The project has been launched with 32 different guides covering 18 separate drugs. Further guides will follow; eventually there will be guides for all monographs in The NEWT Guidelines.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2016.20201052

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