Essential Drugs

drugs

Rescue 999 and Too Old To Work, Too Young To Retire posted recently about what they considered essential ambulance equipment.

Inspired by their posts I have decided to focus on the drugs I carry. In coming posts I will rank the drugs in my kit in terms of their essentialness (in reverse order). I will try to intersperse some basic pharmacology on the meds (which will be a good refresher for me), stories of my experiences with them, and perhaps some research about their effectiveness and future uses.

Here in alphabetical order are the drugs I carry:

Activated Charcoal
Adenosine
Albuterol/Atrovent
Amiodarone
Aspirin
Ativan
Atropine
Benadryl
Calcium
Cardizem
Dextrose (D50)
Dopamine
Epinephrine
Glucagon
Haldol
Lasix
Lidocaine
Magnesium
Metoprolol
Morphine
Narcan
Nitrogylcerine
Normal Saline
Oxygen
Phenergan
Sodium Bicarbonate
Solu-Medrol
Tetracaine
Torodol
Tylenol
Vasopressin
Versed
Zofran

I have combined albuterol and atrovent as one, as well as Normal Saline and Lactated Ringers. As I work through the list, eventually we will reach, what I will call The Essential Eight, drugs which I feel I cannot do my job without.

My next post (which I hope to have ready by next Monday) will begin with number 33 on the list – a drug I not only find unessential, I believe it is dangerous and should be banned from our kits.

I welcome comment and discussion.

Some ground rules. My ratings assume I am single paramedic with a Life Pack 12, an intubation kit with back up of LMA, CPAP, a stretcher, an ambulance, and a partner. My town has many nursing homes and a vary old population in general. There are few buildings more than two stories. There are a few business and retirement communities that are large enough to delay time to patient side by ten minutes or so. My scene time will rarely exceed twenty minutes, my transport time to the hospital is rarely less than 10 minutes(with lights and sirens), but rarely more than thirty. I try not to go lights and sirens if I can help it. My system has first responders equipped with oxygen and automatic defibrillators.

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