Cookie policy: This site uses cookies (small files stored on your computer) to simplify and improve your experience of this website. Cookies are small text files stored on the device you are using to access this website. For more information please take a look at our terms and conditions. Some parts of the site may not work properly if you choose not to accept cookies.


Subscribe or Register

Existing user? Login

NPSA wants action to curb midazolam deaths

Three deaths related to midazolam have been reported in the past fouryears, prompting the National Patient Safety Agency to release a rapidresponse report relating to its use for conscious sedation in adults

Three deaths related to midazolam have been reported in the past four years, prompting the National Patient Safety Agency to release a rapid response report (PDF 50K) relating to its use for conscious sedation in adults.

Action, says the NPSA, is required immediately and organisations are asked to ensure that high-strength midazolam (5mg/ml in 2ml and 10ml ampoules or 2mg/ml in 5ml ampoules) is replaced with low-strength midazolam in all clinical areas except general anaesthesia, intensive care, palliative medicine and other areas where its use has been risk assessed.

The amount of drug contained in high-strength midazolam vials exceeds the dose required for most patients, the NPSA points out, and there is a risk that the entire ampoule is administered when only a fraction is required.

The NPSA also states that on occasions no account has been taken of the shorter half-life — when compared with midazolam — of flumazenil, the antagonist for reversal of midazolam sedation, leading to residual re-sedation.

The NPSA recommends a review of therapeutic protocols to ensure guidance on midazolam use is clear. It also recommends ensuring healthcare practitioners involved in midazolam administration are adequately trained, and that stocks of flumazenil are available where midazolam is used. Sedation should be covered by an organisational policy, it says.

The actions outlined in the report should be completed by 9 June 2009.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal URI: 10043367

Have your say

For commenting, please login or register as a user and agree to our Community Guidelines. You will be re-directed back to this page where you will have the ability to comment.

Recommended from Pharmaceutical Press

  • Pharmaceutical Statistics

    Pharmaceutical Statistics

    This book on basic statistics has been specifically written for pharmacy students.

    £33.00Buy now
  • Patient Care in Community Practice

    Patient Care in Community Practice

    Patient Care in Community Practice is a unique, practical guide for healthcare professionals or carers. Covers a range of non-medicinal products suitable for use at home.

    £22.00Buy now
  • Clinical Pharmacokinetics

    Clinical Pharmacokinetics

    A practical guide to the use of pharmacokinetic principles in clinical practice. Includes case studies with questions and answers.

    £33.00Buy now
  • Pharmaceutical Toxicology

    Pharmaceutical Toxicology

    Explains the methodology and requirements of pre-clinical safety assessments of new medicines. Includes registration requirements and pharmacovigilance.

    £40.00Buy now
  • Strategic Medicines Management

    Strategic Medicines Management

    A practical guide to influencing the availability of medicines, and policies of their use. Focuses on the strategic elements of medicines management.

    £33.00Buy now

Search an extensive range of the world’s most trusted resources

Powered by MedicinesComplete
  • Print
  • Share
  • Comment
  • Save
  • Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF

Jobs you might like

Newsletter Sign-up

Want to keep up with the latest news, comment and CPD articles in pharmacy and science? Subscribe to our free alerts.