Approximate Weight of 1:1000 Topical Epinephrine on Wrung-Out Epinephrine-Soaked Pledgets

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Otolaryngology and head and neck surgery


OBJECTIVE: Topical 1:1000 epinephrine solution is commonly applied intranasally with cottonoid pledgets in endoscopic sinonasal surgery for local vasoconstriction and hemostasis. Pledgets are typically submerged in epinephrine solution and applied without measurement. Hemodynamic complications have been reported when pledgets have been saturated and not wrung out. The amount of epinephrine absorbed per pledget has not been studied methodically. The purpose of this study was to determine the amount of topical 1:1000 epinephrine remaining on a cottonoid pledget after wringing out the pledget, to simulate intraoperative application.

STUDY DESIGN: Cohort study.

SETTING: Tertiary care center.

SUBJECTS AND METHODS: Sixty 0.5-in × 3-in cottonoid pledgets were submerged in canisters filled with 1:1000 epinephrine solution (1 mg/mL). Weights of the epinephrine-filled canisters were measured before submerging the pledgets and then after removing and wringing out the pledgets. Measurements were recorded for each pledget after being submerged for 0, 1, and 5 minutes and then wrung out. Mean weights were calculated and compared between the submersion durations.

RESULTS: The mean overall weight of epinephrine on a wrung-out pledget was 0.931 mg. Mean weights of epinephrine absorbed onto wrung-out pledgets after submersion for 0, 1, and 5 minutes were 0.914, 0.913, and 0.967 mg, respectively. There were no significant differences in weights based on submersion duration (P = .296).

CONCLUSION: Approximately 1 mg of epinephrine was absorbed onto 0.5-in × 3-in cottonoid pledgets when pledgets were wrung out after being submerged in 1:1000 epinephrine, whether being removed from solution immediately or after up to 5 minutes.

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ePub ahead of print