Intravenous (IV) fluids are the most commonly used drugs in the inpatient wards and the emergency units. They are not usually dealt with as a medication, and are frequently prescribed even by junior doctors and even the nursing staff. Serious side effects and complication may arise from this practice.
To evaluate the indications of IV fluid prescription in the Medical City.
A cross-sectional study of the use of IV fluids in surgical wards and emergency units in the Medical city in Baghdad during a period of ten weeks. Two hundreds and ninety three patients were collected. Studying the indication for prescription, monitoring of the patients, combinations and role of pharmacists.
Most common IV fluid used was glucose water (28.3%). The most common indication in the emergency unit was vomiting and diarrhea (19.1%). While in the inpatient wards, routine postoperative hydration was the commonest indication for IV fluid (13.6%). Unnecessary or wrong uses were recorded in number of cases (36.8). Deficient monitoring of patients on IV fluids was noticed in most cases (95%). No apparent role for the clinical pharmacist in this respect was reported.
There was a quiet high ratio of unnecessary or wrong use of IV fluids and also a high ratio of low or deficient monitoring of patients that necessitate more attention by the specialists and more supervision to the practice of IV fluid prescription.