Response to the Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch report into residual drugs in intravenous cannulae and extension lines

Published: 05/03/2021

The occurrence of residual drugs left in intravenous lines and cannulas being inadvertently administered to patients is very rare. However, we are aware that one patient safety incident is too many. The Royal College of Anaesthetists and the Centre for Perioperative Care are committed to taking forward the HSIB report’s recommendations.

We will be working closely with relevant stakeholders to review, update and integrate new guidance on the safety checklist used by clinicians. This includes strengthening the guidelines specifically on the flushing of cannulae and extension lines for medicines that present a high risk. We will also be reviewing our Guidelines for the Provision of Anaesthetic Services on planning and oversight care when using high-risk medications outside of the theatre.