National Standard for User-applied Labelling of Injectable Medicines Fluids and Lines

The Commission developed the National Standard for User-applied Labelling of Injectable Medicines, Fluids and Lines (the Labelling Standard) for health professionals to communicate safely:

  • The contents of containers and lines used for, and with, injectable medicines and fluids
  • The patients for whom the medicines and fluids are intended.

Using the Labelling Standard is mandatory for meeting the National Safety and Quality Health Service (NSQHS) Standards (second edition) – in particular, NSQHS Medication Safety Standard.

The Commission and the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists released a joint statement supporting user-applied labelling standardisation of injectable medicines.

The Labelling Standard

The Labelling Standard expands on the previous Labelling Recommendations to include:

  • Labelling of containers in perioperative settings (including cardiac catheter and interventional radiology units)
  • Colour coded pre-printed medicine labels for use on dedicated continuous infusion lines
  • Colour coding by medicine class in accordance with the Anaesthetic Labelling Standard, including teal green for anticoagulant/antiplatelet medicines
  • Liquid medicines for oral, enteral and inhalational use
  • Locked catheters
  • Labelling of non-injectable medicines and fluids prepared in the same area as injectable medicines, and colour coding with a red St Andrews Cross watermark
  • A range of issues previously listed in the Labelling Recommendations Issues Register.

Labelling Standard resources and tools