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A survey of the antidote preparedness in Norwegian hospitals


Objectives Antidotes are an important part of the emergency preparedness in hospitals. In the case of a major chemical accident or a fire, large quantities of antidotes may be needed within a short period of time. For time-critical antidotes it is therefore necessary that they be immediately available. We wanted to evaluate the antidote preparedness in Norwegian hospitals as regards the national recommendations and compare this with other international guidelines.

Methods A digital survey was sent to the 50 hospitals in Norway that treat acute poisonings. Of these, four hospitals are categorised as regional hospitals, 15 as large hospitals and 31 as small hospitals. Each hospital was asked which antidotes they stockpiled from a list of 35 antidotes. The financial costs (low, moderate, high) were added to an established efficacy scale to illustrate the cost-effectiveness of the different antidotes.

Results The response rate was 100%. Eleven of fifty (22%) hospitals stockpiled all antidotes recommended for their hospital size. All four regional hospitals had all the recommended antidotes. Large hospitals which were not regional hospitals had the least availability of antidotes, and only one large hospital stockpiled all antidotes recommended for this hospital size.

Conclusions We found varying compliance with the national recommendations for antidote storage in hospitals. To strengthen antidote preparedness, we recommend standardised European guidelines to support national guidelines.

  • emergency medicine
  • critical care
  • clinical medicine
  • quality of health care
  • management audit

Data availability statement

Data are available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request.

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