Reviewing compliance to our Trust guidelines on AICU led us to investigate whether the loading dose prior to continuous infusion was sufficient to achieve therapeutic levels at first measurement.


Retrospective data was pulled (January 2011 - June 2017) from a data interrogation system (SAS Enterprise Guide) which linked patients receiving continuous infusion vancomycin at a concentration of 500mg/50ml. This was presented into Excel spreadsheets, additional headings added for data interpretation, then manipulated into pivot tables to determine objectives.


In 82 courses of vancomycin continuous infusions in 70 patients, 53 received correct loading doses. 31 courses had continuous infusion started within 2 hours of loading dose finishing. 13 courses started at the correct rate. 12/13 courses had vancomycin levels taken. Only one course reached therapeutic range at the first level taken (19.5mg/kg). Of the remaining 11 courses which were out of range, 7 were titrated appropriately – 6 became therapeutic, one remained out of range and was stopped. 3 were not titrated correctly and remained out of range or not titrated at all.


16% (13/82) of all continuous vancomycin infusions on AICU complied with guidelines. Only one patient who received the highest weight-based loading dose of 19.5mg/kg reached therapeutic range at the first level monitored, suggesting that doses of ≥20mg/kg at loading are required.


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