Monday, August 29, 2005

Hospital pharmacists commended for their effective response to terror attack in London

The following article has been published in the "The Pharmaceutical Journal", Vol 275, No 7358 p71, 16 July 2005 ( We thing that it's of a great interest, so we copy it here in ehpb.

"Hospital pharmacists have been praised for the way in which they responded to last week’s terrorist attack in London.

John Farrell, head of pharmacy at the Royal Free Hospital, said that the pharmacy departments at the Royal Free, Whittington and University College hospitals had been commended in a post-disaster review for their responsiveness in supplying medicines needed to discharge patients to make beds available for victims of the explosions.

Pharmacy really did deliver,” Mr Farrell said. “We were planning for up to 500 victims at the Royal Free Hospital.”

Mr Farrell also praised the response of AAH and Travenol, who provided additional emergency supplies. IV fluids were flown by helicopter to Epping Forest and then delivered to hospitals under police escort.

As a result of lessons learnt from the emergency, stocks of ketamine and hepatitis B and tetanus vaccines are to be increased.

Victims of the three explosions on underground trains and another on a bus were taken to the Royal London, University College, Royal Free, Whittington and St Mary’s hospitals, with The Royal London Hospital receiving the largest number.

Charles Tugwell, principal pharmacist responsible for co-ordinating the pharmacy response at The Royal London Hospital, said: “Staff in the pharmacy department worked as an excellent team throughout the day during which well over 200 casualties were treated.”

The immediate response was to make sure that a full clinical pharmacy service was provided to the A&E department. Within 20 minutes, many staff were on the wards helping to clear beds by decanting or discharging patients, Mr Tugwell said.

Staff remaining in the pharmacy department arranged emergency supplies of drugs, while others made sure that the needs of operating theatres, the intensive therapy unit, and other emergency areas, as well as the Helicopter Emergency Medical Service, were predicted and responded to."