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NP-003 Patient medicine guides support safe medication treatment and discharge from the hospital in paediatric specialised medical care
  1. AS Anna Santamäki,
  2. SF Sanni Fagerroth,
  3. VT Venla Töyräs,
  4. SK Sini Kuitunen
  1. HUS Pharmacy Helsinki, Finland


Background and Importance Children are susceptible to medication deviations and adverse drug events. Several high-risk medicines are used both in hospitals and at home with paediatric patients. Written medication instructions play a key role in ensuring medication safety during the hospital period and after discharge, as many medications are unlicensed or used off-label in paediatrics.

Aim and Objectives The goal was to produce uniform and reliable medication guides for both clinical and home use.

Materials and Methods Pharmacist prepared the guide using the department’s previous instructions, manufacturer’s product summaries and national databases as a background. The content and structure were based on the needs and questions raised during the patient guidance and were evaluated multi-professionally.

Results The paediatric organ transplant drug guide was developed first and contains information on the practical instructions for medication treatment at home. The medication guide is given to each family and is also available to other hospital districts and pharmacies through the national database. Warfarin and enoxaparin patient instructions have later been developed using the same ideology. Pictorial instructions provide support and certainty for the use of high-alert medicines at home by, for example, reducing errors in dose calculations. The most recent paediatric cancer medication guide also includes pictorial instructions on the safe handling of chemotherapy drugs at home. As a result of the medication guides, hazardous situations and contacts to the hospital after discharge have decreased.

Conclusion and Relevance Patient medicine guides enable reliable drug information for families and practitioners. With the help of the materials, the family can practice handling medicines safely already in the department. Written material and medication counselling should be given well in advance before discharge, so that the families have time to adopt given information and ask follow-up questions.

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