National Patient Safety Alert: Phenol. August 2021

National Patient Safety Alert
multi-use bottles
Liquid Phenol
A Patient Safety Alert (PSA) has been issued regarding the supply and use of multi-use bottles of liquid phenol 80%.

A Patient Safety Alert (PSA), Elimination of bottles of liquefied phenol 80%,regarding the supply and use of multi-use bottles of liquid phenol 80%, has been issued by the NHS England and NHS Improvement National Patient Safety Team, British Orthopaedic Society, The Association of Coloproctology Great Britain and Ireland, and the Royal College of Podiatry (RCPod). It applies across all health professions and has been approved by over 70 organisations and signed by 30, including RCPod. 

The PSA has been issued due to concerns over the safety of the product in large quantities and comes after a review of its use across multiple professions. The review concluded that alternative methods of supply, or alternative treatments, pose a lower safety risk and provide viable alternatives to multi-use bottles of liquid phenol 80%.  

The PSA does not affect individual ampules of liquid phenol 89% and liquid phenol is still safe for use during nail ablation procedures by trained healthcare professionals. This alert surrounds the supply of multi-use bottles only. Podiatrists should ensure that they follow all chemical usage and safe handling protocols when using any chemical, including phenol.

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