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The types and quantities of antidotes available in different hospitals varies from country to country. Even among hospitals in the same region there is variation. Insufficient antidote stocks are a widespread problem — especially in the context of multiple patient poisonings or rare exposures.
According to Harnet et al,1 in the United Kingdom, the Royal College of Emergency Medicine and the National Poisons Information Service have issued national guidance on the availability of antidotes in emergency departments.2 The guidance serves as a tool for improving timely availability of antidotes in hospitals to optimise how patients who have been poisoned are managed. The last edition of the guidance was updated in 202021 and several audits have been conducted after updated guidance. Harnet et al, evaluated the compliance with the 2017 antidote guidance. As compared with the previous audit, changes in antidote stocks were modest and compliance with the guidance remained inadequate. Category C antidotes tended to have probable stock difficulties with few hospitals having supplies of them. This ranged from 1.1% of hospitals having available supplies of …
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Contributors All the authors are members of the Antidote Network Working Group in Spain. The authors are hospital pharmacists and physicians, experts in the management of adult and paediatric intoxicated patients. All of them contributed to the publication recommendations on antidote stocking in Spanish hospitals and developed the Antidote Network, a virtual tool that facilitates the application for loans between hospitals.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.
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