Korean J Clin Pharm.  2020 Sep;30(3):143-148. 10.24304/kjcp.2020.30.3.143.

Pharmaceutical Care for Medication Safety in Critically Ill Neonates

  • 1College of Pharmacy, Wonkwang University, Jeonbuk 55338, Republic of Korea


This study aimed to investigate pharmaceutical care for critically ill neonates and suggest targeted strategies compatible with the Korean health-system pharmacy.
Articles that reported pharmacy practices for critically ill neonates were reviewed. Pharmaceutical care practices and roles of neonatal pharmacists were identified, and criteria were developed for neonates in need of specialized care by clinical pharmacists.
Neonatal pharmacists play many roles in the overall medication management pathway. For clinical decision support, multidisciplinary ward rounds, clinical pharmacokinetic services, and consultation for pharmacotherapy and nutrition support were conducted. Prevention and resolution of drug-related problems through review of medication charts contributed to medication safety. Pharmaceutical optimization of intravenous medication played an important role in safe and effective therapy. Information on the use of off-label medicine, recommended dosage and dosing schedules, and stability of intravenous medicine was provided to other health professionals. Most clinical practices for neonates in Korea included therapeutic drug monitoring and nutrition support services. Reduction in medication errors and adverse drug reactions, shortening the duration of weaning medicines, decreasing the use and cost of antimicrobials, and improvement in nutrition status were reported as the outcomes of pharmacist-led interventions. The essential criteria of pharmaceutical care, including for patients with potential high-risk factors for drug-related problems, was developed.
Pharmaceutical care for critically ill neonates varies widely. Development and provision of standardized pharmaceutical care for Korean neonates and a stepwise strategy for the expansion of clinical pharmacy services are required.


Intensive care units; neonate; pharmaceutical services; pharmacist; safety
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