After reading this article you will:
- understand the principles of sterile compounding
- understand the requirements for sterile compounding
- understand the principles of operation of a laminar air flow hood
Health care is increasingly moving into the home setting, creating new challenges for pharmacists. Pharmacists may be asked to fill prescriptions for intravenous solutions, and prepare such products as ophthalmic and bladder preparations which require sterile compounding.
Pharmacists are health practitioners educated and skilled in the science of compounding medications. Furthermore, pharmacists can compound sterile products if they have the skills and facilities necessary to ensure that certain products are prepared in a non-contaminated environment, free of particulate matter.
Sterile compounding practices vary between community pharmacies, indicating that there are no clear guidelines for pharmacists to follow. Studies also show a wide variance between hospitals in their sterile compounding practices (1). The improper compounding of sterile products can lead to serious consequences for patients in community and hospital settings.