Albumin Utilization in a Teaching Hospital in Tehran: Time to Revise the Prescribing Strategies
Background: Since albumin imposes a relatively high cost to a healthcare system, drug use evaluation for this drug is much more important. This study wants to evaluate pattern of albumin use in a large university affiliated hospital in Tehran, Iran.
Methods: A concurrent, cross-sectional study was performed in “Shaheed Rajaei” Cardiovascular, Medical and Research Center. All inpatient adults that were prescribed albumin during the study period were evaluated to register the indications for albumin usage according to the evidence-based guidelines.
Results: Only for five patients (4%) the albumin prescriptions were justifiable. Of these cases, intractable edema was the leading cause of albumin misuse (73 patients; 60.8%). The total 1468 vials of Albumin were prescribed for 120 patients during the study period. The most common reasons to prescribe albumin were acute normovolemic (34%), cardiac failure (0.83%), resistance edema with Albumin>2g/dL (61%), nephrotic syndrome (0.83%), plasmapheresis (1.67%), ascetic (1.67%).
Conclusion: These data, together with previous national studies highly suggest a mandatory need for educational measures for practicing physicians along with strict regulations for prescription strategies regarding expensive drugs such as albumin.
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