To determine the practicality of administering 325 mg (4 tablets, 81 mg/tablet) of crushed aspirin tablets via an 18 French orogastric tube.
Tablets were crushed with a mortar and pestle device, and then solubilized in 60 mL of tap water. The suspension was then drawn up in a 60 mL catheter tip syringe and flushed through an 18 French orogastric tube into a retrieval container for analysis. A standard curve of several concentrations of aspirin was obtained using commercially prepared laboratory acetylsalicylic acid with a spectrophotometer. 5 mL aliquots of the orogastric dose were refluxed with 1 M NaOH. This solution was diluted with distilled water and complexed with 0.02 M FeCL3 solution. This final solution was evaluated spectrophotometrically at a wavelength of 530 nm. Data was plotted on a Beer’s plot and moles of acetylsalicyclic acid were converted to a quantitative value based on data from the standard curve.
Five trials of this procedure were performed. The milligram values of the dosing regimens ranged from 54 - 110 mg. The mean value of a single dose of orogastrically administered aspirin was 78.2 mg.
The standard practice of crushing aspirin tablets with a mortar and pestle, solubilizing in 60 mL of water and administering this suspension via an orogastric tube does not deliver an optimal dose of this drug. This study quantifies the dose of aspirin administered by this method, and reveals that approximately 24 % of the actual dose is actually delivered.
Considering the importance of aspirin dosing in acute coronary syndromes, orogastric administration may not be an adequate method of delivering an appropriate dose. Alternative methods of administration, such as rectal administration, should be considered an alternative to orogastric dosing.
S.P. Wood, None.