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September 2011, Volume 41 Number 9 , p 20 - 20


  • Michael R. Cohen ScD, MS, RPH


Pentacel is a multicomponent vaccine indicated for active immunization against diphtheria, tetanus, -pertussis, poliomyelitis, and invasive disease due to Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib). Pentacel is approved for use as a four-dose series in children ages 6 weeks through 4 years. The vaccine is supplied in a five-dose carton containing vials of DTaP-IPV liquid component (blue-capped -vials), which is used to reconstitute each single-dose vial of the lyophilized Hib vaccine (ActHIB) component contained in green-capped vials (see photo).Recently a nurse checking inventory reported opening a carton and finding an extra green-capped vial. Before administering the vaccine, another nurse had failed to use the DTaP-IPV component to reconstitute the ActHIB in the other vial.The Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) has received many similar reports in which infants had to return to the healthcare provider's office to receive the inadvertently omitted Haemophilus influenzae type b

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