by Mark Borthwick, Consultant Pharmacist – Critical Care

A decade ago, critical care units prepared medicines for infusion in a fashion determined by each individual unit and without reference to a central recommended list.  As a consequence, there were a huge variety of compositions of medications and fragmentation in practice, with implications for training, use of language/terminology, efficient use of resources and lack of purchasing power to influence development of medicines manufactured in a ready-to-use format.

Subsequently, the Intensive Care Society consulted on and adopted a core set of standard medication concentrations -these have now been in place since 2010.  The addition of new medicines to the market place, combined with findings from more recent work that explores the extent of adoption of the standards, have revealed the need to update the list.

The updated list (V2.2) now includes dexmedetomidine, adrenaline and a different phosphate presentation.  An additional column now denotes route (central vs peripheral) We urge practitioners to review practice on their unit, and consider adoption of the standard concentrations wherever possible.


Download the Standard Concentration List:

ics-standard-medication-concentrations-2016 .

For more standards and guidelines visit the ICS website here


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