Anticipatory syringe pumps: benefits and risks
Ben Bowers, Kristian Pollock, Andrew Dickman, Richella Ryan and Stephen Barclay
We welcome the Association of Supportive and Palliative Care Pharmacy’s (ASPCP) recent position statement that the perceived benefit of the anticipatory prescribing of a syringe pump (driver) does not outweigh potential risks.1 This is an area of practice which has needed clear national guidance for some time.2 The committee cited the following specific risks: - A lack of individualisation. - No anticipation of dose/drug changes between prescribing and initiation. - Administration errors. Given these risks, it is of concern that anticipatory syringe pump prescribing appears relatively common in some areas of the UK and is perhaps increasing during the COVID-19 pandemic.