Aseptic and Production Unit Services

The Technical Services section of the Pharmacy department is involved in the preparation of medicines that are not available commercially in a ready-to-use format. The majority of this work is concerned with aseptic preparation (see below) but some staff are also involved in extemporaneous preparation (see below).

The team is comprised of Pharmacists, Technicians and Support workers.

Aseptic Preparation:

Aseptic Preparation

Aseptic Preparation

This is the preparation and supply of products that must be completely sterile before administration to the patient.

In order for this to be achieved, they are made within special workstations which are supplied with purified air.

The majority of aseptically prepared items are either Total Parenteral Nutrition (TPNs) or chemotherapy.


Total Parenteral Nutrition Bags

Total Parenteral Nutrition Bags

These contain all the essential nutrients to sustain a patient if they are unable to eat food in the normal way. TPN bags containing carbohydrates, fats and salts in a 2.5 litre formulation are purchased. These standard bags then have vitamins, trace elements and extra minerals added as necessary.



Chemotherapy Drugs

Chemotherapy drugs

Chemotherapy drugs are used in the treatment of cancer.

They are supplied in a ready-to-administer form to the ward which means that staff are not exposed to the toxic nature of the medicine.

By working within the controlled environment of the aseptic suite, the Pharmacy Operators are also protected whilst preparing the medication.

Extemporaneous Preparation:

Pharmacy staff member preparing for Extemporaneous Preparation

Extemporaneous preparation

While most medicines are commercially available, some medicines cannot be purchased from large companies. Extemporaneous preparation describes the work involved in supplying a medicine in a form or dose that is not otherwise available. The Technical Services department is involved in the manufacture of:

  • Liquid formulations
  • Eye drops
  • Creams
  • Ointments.