New medicine safety resource ensures Australians ‘don’t rush to crush’

A new patient-friendly guide on safely dispersing and crushing tablets, capsules and sachets promises to support many Australians who take oral medicines via enteral feeding tube, following its release by the Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia (SHPA) coinciding with 2019 World Pharmacists Day.

Available for free download, How to give your medicine by enteral tube was developed as a supplementary resource to SHPA’s essential publication Don’t Rush to Crush, by its editorial team in partnership with pharmacists from St Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney.

Keli Symons, Pharmacist and Publications Manager at SHPA, says the two-page reference is an extra safety measure in a time of growing use of increasingly complex medicines.

‘Although well-known among pharmacists, many patients and consumers are not aware that even small changes in medicine delivery, such as switching from a capsule to a tablet or changing medicine brand, can increase the risk of harm. 

‘This new resource allows pharmacists to easily and directly reference Don’t Rush to Crush while annotating a patient’s list of medicines in their discharge script. 

‘When out of hospital and back at home, these references can be quickly matched to simplified descriptions of preparing medicines that are unavailable in a liquid – Method A) dispersing a tablet in water; Method B) crushing a tablet and Method C) dispersing a capsule or sachet – providing added confidence medicines are being safely and effectively prepared.’ 

SHPA Chief Executive Kristin Michaels says the Don’t Rush to Crush release aligns with the theme of 2019 World Pharmacists Day: ‘Safe and effective medicines for all’. 

Don’t Rush to Crush has become a staple of medicines safety, recognised as a required pharmacy text by the Pharmacy Board of Australia, providing vital information at the point of care in hospitals, pharmacies, residential aged care facilities, and anywhere oral medicines need to be modified.

‘In bringing the core advice directly to people who need it, How to give your medicine by enteral tube is a testament to the commitment of our members and our staff to empower patients in their own care.’

The third edition of Don’t Rush to Crush is now available through the SHPA Bookshop, eMIMSCloud and MIMS Online, and Medical Director’s AusDI.

Download the media release.