Michael R. Cohen ScD, MS, RPH

October 2011 
Volume 41  Number 10
Pages 12 - 12
  PDF Version Available!

A nurse reported difficulty in gaining access to a vial of Sensorcaine-MPF, a preservative-free, single-use local anesthetic containing bupivacaine. The nurse said that when staff members try to open the vial, the rubber stopper falls out, exposing the contents to the environment. To prevent this, nurses try to pierce the metal disc covering the rubber stopper (see photo).Neither the metal disc nor the rubber stopper is supposed to be punctured. Doing so could lead to injecting a piece of metal or rubber into the patient. In addition, an injection given with a dull needle is painful.Instead of trying to puncture the disc and stopper, the user should pull a tab to completely remove the ferrule (the metal band that holds a rubber stopper into the vial before use). Once the ferrule is pulled off entirely, the metal disc that covers the rubber stopper should be removed along with the rubber stopper itself. Although this does expose the drug to air, the product is intended to be withdrawn into

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