and is reduced to using unapproved US epinephrine (oh, they’re exactly the same drug, by the way):
STOCKS of an essential drug used in life saving situations have been depleted at Middlemore Hospital.
Ampoules of the Ministry of Health approved adrenalin 1:1000 ran out late last week.
Middlemore is not alone in its predicament which may put patient safety at risk says the New Zealand Medical Association (NZMA).
Adrenalin is an essential drug used in emergency situations such as life-threatening allergic reaction and cardiac arrest.
Doctors will be able to use an alternative supply of adrenalin from America, but must gain consent from the patient, as it is not ministry approved says Counties Manukau District Health spokesperson Lauren Young.
That will be an interesting conversation:
NZdoc: ‘Hello, I see you’re about to die without our New Zealand approved adrenaline. I suppose we could give you the American version, which they call ‘epinephrine’ and does exactly the same thing, but because it’s not approved I need your permission to give it to you”.
NZdoc: “I’ll record that as a yes; nurse, give the unapproved epinephrine, please”.
And, that reminds me that we have these revolving shortages of medicines you wouldn’t think of as being hard to get: injectable compazine until recently, this month it’s Bicillin LA, a long-acting penicillin shot. It’s penicillin for goodness sake, but we’re out. I never know why we have shortages like this, but they crop up all the time.