Other Indications

Evaluation of the appropriate use of albumin in adult and pediatric patients.

Tanzi M, Gardner M, Megellas M, Lucio S, Restino M.
Am J Health Syst Pharm 2003 Jul 1;60(13):1330-5.
Pharmacy Clinical Solutions, Novation, Irving, TX, USA. mtanzi@novationco.com

The appropriateness of albumin use and baseline albumin usage patterns were studied. Institutional practice patterns regarding the use of albumin were compared to criteria established by an independent expert panel. Fifty-three institutions, all of which were members of VHA or the University Health-System Consortium, participated in the evaluation. Investigators collected data over an eight-week period from the medical records, pharmacy records, and hospital billing data of adult (18 years of age or older) and pediatric (age 1-17 years) patients for whom albumin was prescribed. Data collected included patient-specific information, the prescribing physician's specialty area, patient location (level of care) when albumin was prescribed, primary reasons for prescribing albumin, and details of albumin use. Data were collected for 1649 adult and 23 pediatric patients. Albumin was prescribed inappropriately in 57.8% and appropriately in 28.2% of adults; appropriateness of use was unknown in 14% of the patients reviewed. The most common indication for albumin use was hypotension/hypovolemia (23.9%), followed by bypass-pump priming (16.3%), intradialytic blood pressure support (9.6%), and serum albumin values less than 2 g/dL (8.6%). Albumin was prescribed inappropriately 100% of the time when used for intradialytic blood pressure support, low serum albumin values, and acute respiratory distress syndrome. The most appropriate use of albumin occurred in patients with postsurgical hypotension and hypovolemia (67.8%), nephrotic syndrome (79.3%), non-hemorrhagic shock (44.3%), hemorrhagic shock (51.9%), and cirrhosis and paracentesis (31.3%). Albumin was inappropriately prescribed for 57.8% of adult patients and 52.2% of pediatric patients. The mean number of total grams used by patients receiving albumin appropriately was similar to those patients inappropriately receiving albumin.