Magnesium Sulfate is considered a High Alert (HA) drug due to the increased potential for serious patient harm if used incorrectly.
Think about the following questions:
· Has your center included Magnesium Sulfate on your High Alert list? (If it’s stocked at your center, please add that to your High Alert list)
· If Magnesium Sulfate is on your High Alert list, what safety strategies have you designated to the HA drug?
· Are your nursing staff aware of those safety strategies? (If so, are they prepared to discuss those strategies with a surveyor?)
Here are a few safety strategies for your center to consider for Magnesium Sulfate.
1. Make “grab kits” for your magnesium sulfate. In the kit, include all supplies needed to mix the magnesium sulfate AND dilution instructions. Instructions should read, “Dilute 1-2 gms in 50-100 ml NSS”.
2. Be sure that Magnesium Sulfate us on your center’s High Alert (HA) list and the list is posted in your medication preparation room/ area.
3. Nurses and doctors should verify the dose of magnesium sulfate before administration.
4. Consider adding a High Alert sticker to the vial and/ or “grab kit”.*
*If part of your safety strategy is to place high alert stickers on any medication package, be sure that you’ve informed all staff about this policy. As medications are unpackaged and stocked, they should have the sticker placed on them immediately. Once you’ve included stickering as part of your center’s high alert safety strategy, surveyors are able to issue citations for any medications not stickered. As with all other policies, you are obligated to comply with your own center’s policies.