Continuous subcutaneous infusion in palliative care: a review of current practice.

01 Dec 2017

Syringe drivers are widely used in palliative care, and this article reviews the challenges and outstanding questions associated with their use. Misperceptions among the lay public and some health professionals can be addressed by sensitive communication with patients and families and clear thinking in clinical teams concerning the drugs and doses used, particularly in non-malignant disease. Good levels of knowledge concerning syringe driver use has been found among GPs and community nurses, although this is not the case in some nursing home teams. The advantages of newer devices, safety and efficacy of drug combinations, selection of diluent, and management of site reactions are discussed.