To evaluate the physical intravenous Y-site compatibility of 29 combinations of medications at commonly used pediatric concentrations using both existing and novel techniques.


Medication combinations included were selected by a varied group of pediatric inpatient pharmacists, and then assessed by 3 independent reviewers for existing literature. For each combination, 2 different medications were mixed together in a 1:1 ratio and incubated at room temperature for 4 hours to simulate Y-site administration. Each sample was then analyzed using the US Pharmacopeia (USP) <788> recommended analytical technique of light obscuration (LO) in addition to novel flow imaging (FI) microscopy and backgrounded membrane imaging (BMI). Physical compatibility was determined using USP chapter <788> large volume particle count limits for all techniques.


A total of 29 different medication combinations were studied. Five combinations met criteria for compatibility by all 3 techniques. The remaining 24 combinations reached the threshold to be considered incompatible by at least 1 of the 3 techniques. Light obscuration, BMI, and FI identified 14%, 59%, and 76% of combinations as incompatible, respectively. All samples deemed incompatible by LO were also incompatible by at least 1 of the other 2 techniques. Flow imaging and BMI results agreed in 69% of samples tested.


Most combinations tested were found to be incompatible by at least 1 of the 3 instruments used. Light obscuration appears to have reduced accuracy for identifying particulate resulting in physical medication incompatibility when compared with the novel techniques of FI and BMI.

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