Nose drops are used in the decongestion of the nasal passages and in the treatment of sinusitis. The drops can be either an antibiotic or a decongestant.
Once they have been prescribed by the doctor, nose drops can be given by any nurse who is competent in administering them.
At Great Ormond Street Hospital the nose drops currently used are:
- sodium chloride
- xylometazoline nasal
Preparing the child and family
Inform the child, if they are old enough to understand, and their family that you are going to administer the nose drops.
Answer any questions they may have about the nose drops (Rationale 1, 2, 3 and 4
Check the nose drops have been prescribed according to the hospital policy (GOSH Pharrmacy Department 2008
; RCPCH 2009
Check the nose drops are prescribed correctly (Rationale 5
). Ensure that:
- the correct nose drops are written on the drug chart
- the correct route and instruction, ie one or both nostrils, is written on the drug chart
- the correct strength is stated
- the number of drops is stated
Gather the following equipment in order to prepare to administer the drops:
- the correct nose drops
- some gauze swabs on a chip tray
Prior to the procedure, wash your hands (Rationale 6
Nose drops should be used 2-4 times a day, according to what has been prescribed (Rationale 3 and 4
Check the name of the child and hospital number on their identity bracelet matches that on the prescription chart, and that their name is also on the bottles of drops (Rationale 7
Either tilt the child’s head backwards, ensuring it is supported, or lie the child flat on their back with the head tilted backwards.
Place as many drops as has been prescribed into the nostril. If necessary, squeeze the bottle gently to allow the drops to fall.
Keep the head tilted and encourage the child to sniff gently to let the drops penetrate.
If required repeat for the other nostril.
Wash hands after nose drops have been administered.
Sign the child’s drug prescription chart (Rationale 8
Record the administration of the drops in the child’s daily health care records (Rationale 9
Rationale 1: To obtain verbal consent for the procedure.
Rationale 2: To obtain their co-operation if old enough.
Rationale 3: To allay any worries they may have.
Rationale 4: To address their information needs.
Rationale 5: To minimise the risk of drug error.
Rationale 6: To minimise the risk of cross infection.
Rationale 7: To ensure the drops are given to the correct child.
Rationale 8: To determine responsibility for administration.
Rationale 9: To maintain an accurate record.
Pharmacy Department Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Trust (2008) Medicines Information. Available on GOSH intranet.
Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH)(2009) Medicines for Children. London, Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health. www.medicinesforchildren.org.uk. Viewed on 07/12/2011.
Celltech Pharmaceuticals Ltd (2001) Betnosol Leaflet. Slough, Celltech Pharmaceuticals Ltd.
British Medical Association, Royal Pharmaceutical Society and RCPCH (2011) British National Formulary for Children. www.bnf.org/bnf. Viewed on: 07/12/2011
Document control information
Avril John-Baptiste, Practice Educator
Sarah Carmichael, Clinical Nurse Specialist
Emma Youngs, Sister
Clinical Practice Committee
First introduced: 17 November 2004
Date approved: 07 December 2011
Review schedule: Two years
Next review: 06 December 2013
Document version: 2.0
Replaces version: 1.0