Background An earthquake, measuring 6.2 on the moment magnitude scale, hit central Italy on 24 August 2016 at 3.36am. Its epicentre was close to Accumoli, in the central Apennines. The intrahospital emergency plan for massive inflow of injured patients was activated and at least 365 wounded had to be treated, mainly in Ascoli Piceno and less in Rieti, while people with less serious injuries were treated in place.
Purpose The aim of this study was to determinate the pharmaceutical response level to the disaster and its accuracy. The rationality of drug use needs to be discussed to determine if it was functional. Rational use of drugs requires that patients receive medications appropriate to their clinical needs, in doses that meet their own individual requirements (WHO, May 2010).
Material and methods The study analysed the pharmacy’s role and its work shifts, including the main types of drugs used in the hospital, which was the nearest to the epicentre of the earthquake. This was based on analysis of informatic records of drug transfer during the first week after the earthquake. Furthermore, through the management software, the rapidity of emergency drug purchase and delivery was determined.
Results Ascoli Piceno’s pharmaceutical department staff had been working at 6am in order to satisfy the needs of the emergency units, during a continuous 60 hour work shift. For analyse of urgent needs, several inspections at the earthquake site had been carried out by pharmacists. They had supported every medical unit in the Marchigian territory that had requested pharmaceutical care, suggesting and supplying drugs such as metronidazole, levofloxacin and clindamycin, the most frequently asked for antibiotics. Other drugs used were volume expanders, tranexamic acid, furosemide, dexamethasone, atropine, adrenaline, dopamine, tetanus antitoxin, lidocaine and nitroglycerine. These data suggest that the use of drugs was consistent with the recommendations of WHO. The pharmacy quickly made several emergency purchases, informing the supply companies immediately. The materials arrived in 24 hours from order.
Conclusion There is no doubt that pharmacists played an important role in promoting rational drug use and in satisfying the need of the emergency units in a professional way in the medical response to the earthquake. Pharmacists also provided drug information.
No conflict of interest
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