Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from BMC Nursing and BioMed Central.

Open Access Research article

Experience of unpleasant sensations in the mouth after injection of saline from prefilled syringes

Ulf E Kongsgaard12*, Anders Andersen3, Marina Øien4, Inger-Ann Y Oswald4 and Laila I Bruun3

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine, The Norwegian Radium Hospital, Rikshospitalet, Montebello, 0310 Oslo, Norway

2 The Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo, 0313 Oslo, Norway

3 Department of Clinical Pharmacology, The Norwegian Radium Hospital, Rikshospitalet, Montebello, 0310 Oslo, Norway

4 Department of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine, The Norwegian Radium Hospital, Rikshospitalet, Montebello, 0310 Oslo, Norway

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Nursing 2010, 9:1  doi:10.1186/1472-6955-9-1

Published: 7 January 2010

Abstract

Background

Nurses at The Norwegian Radium Hospital have reported that some patients notice an unpleasant smell or taste in accordance with flushing of intravenous lines with commercially available prefilled syringes. We have conducted a study in healthy volunteers to investigate the occurrence, consistency and intensity of this phenomenon.

Methods

A randomised, blinded, crossover study comparing commercial available prefilled saline 9 mg/ml syringes to saline 9 mg/ml for injection in polyethylene package was performed in 10 healthy volunteers. The volunteers were given intravenous injections of varying volume and speed. Data were analysed using descriptive statistics, and also Wilcoxon Signed Rank Test to compare groups.

Results

After intravenous injection, 2 of 15 recordings demonstrated any sensation of smell or taste after injection of saline from polyethylene package, while 14 of 15 recordings noted a sensation after injection of saline from prefilled syringes. The intensity of the unpleasant sensation was rated significantly higher after injection of saline from prefilled syringes compared to saline from polyethylene (p = 0.001).

Conclusions

Injection of saline from prefilled syringes in healthy volunteers resulted in an experience of bad taste or smell. It is important that nurses and health workers are aware of the phenomenon as described in this article in order to choose the preferred product for a given patient.