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ASHP: Key Role for Pharmacists in Natural, Man-Made Disasters

Last Updated: December 05, 2017.

Pharmacy specialists play a critical role in preparing for and responding to disastrous events, according to an educational session held at the mid-year clinical meeting and exhibition of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, held from Dec. 3 to 7 in Orlando, Fla.

TUESDAY, Dec. 5, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Pharmacy specialists play a critical role in preparing for and responding to disastrous events, according to an educational session held at the mid-year clinical meeting and exhibition of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, held from Dec. 3 to 7 in Orlando, Fla.

The session presenters provided insight into the role pharmacy specialists and pharmacy departments play during natural and man-made disasters. They also discussed the principles of mass casualty incident triage and provided an overview of the issues that commonly arise during mass casualty incidents.

By using real world examples, the lecturers outlined lessons learned and highlighted the injury patterns and pharmacy needs of those impacted by disastrous events. They also discussed implementation of disaster management plans based on this information. According to one of the presenters, keeping it simple and sticking to being prepared, responding appropriately, and evaluating lessons learned are all key elements in providing effective responses to disastrous events.

"Given their drug expertise, pharmacists should play an active role in disaster preparedness planning locally and at large," according to the presenters. "Pharmacy leaders should create a robust pharmacy emergency operations plan for pharmacy staff to utilize during planned and unplanned disasters. Pharmacy staff should undergo both written and active routine training for disasters using the facility and pharmacy emergency operations plan to best prepare for disasters."

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