A National Patient Safety Alert has been issued on the elimination of bottles of liquefied phenol 80%. The alert has been issued by the NHS England and NHS Improvement National Patient Safety Team, British Orthopaedic Association, The Association of Coloproctology Great Britain and Ireland, and Royal College of Podiatry.
About this alert
Following incidents where bottles of liquefied phenol 80% were either confused with other medication or caused burns when spilt, this alert asks providers to eliminate its use and to follow professional guidance to use safer alternatives.
Phenol, a caustic compound used for its antimicrobial, anaesthetic, and antipruritic properties, is highly toxic and corrosive. Liquefied phenol 80% can cause burns, severe tissue injury and is rapidly and well absorbed causing systemic toxicity. It is most commonly used in podiatry and orthopaedic foot surgery for destroying the nail matrix
About National Patient Safety Alerts
This alert has been issued as a National Patient Safety Alert.
The NHS England and NHS Improvement patient safety team was the first national body to have been accredited to issue National Patient Safety Alerts by the National Patient Safety Alerting Committee (NaPSAC). All National Patient Safety Alerts are required to meet NaPSAC’s thresholds and standards. These thresholds and standards include working with patients, frontline staff and experts to ensure alerts provide clear, effective actions for safety-critical issues.
NaPSAC requires providers to introduce new systems for planning and coordinating the actions required by any National Patient Safety Alert across their organisation, with executive oversight.
Failure to take the actions required under any National Patient Safety Alert may lead to CQC taking regulatory action.