How To Control Dangerous Drugs-globalpint


How To Control Dangerous Drugs

In control of dangerous drugs, many authorities have established codes of practice for the control of dangerous drugs that go beyond the regulations laid down by statute. These are for the protection of the patients and the staff. The following is a list of the items usually included in the code of practice:

1.  In hospitals, the use of these drugs is under strict control.

2.  The cupboard must be kept locked and sometimes a cupboard within a cupboard is used. Thus the drugs are under double lock and key.

3.  A special cupboard is used for storing these drugs and this should be marked either “poison cupboard”.

4.  The key of this cupboard must be kept with the person of the senior nurse on duty.

5.  None of the drugs may be administered without a written prescription by the doctor.

6.  Each dose of the drugs administered must be entered into a special register provided for the purpose. For example:

  • The date.
  • The patient’s name.
  • The name of the drug and the dose.
  • The time of giving the drug.
  • The name of the person giving the drug.
  • The name of the registered nurse who checked the drug. ( All these drugs must be checked by a registered nurse or doctor prior to administration).
  • The name of the doctor who prescribed the drug.

7.  The person who checks the drug should see the bottle or container from which the drug was taken and check the dose with the written prescription. The person should also check that the correct patient receives.

8.  All bottles, ampoules and tubes containing dangerous drugs should be conspicuously and clearly.

9.  Renewal of supplies can be obtained only by an order signed by a medical officer and should reach the ward only by the hand of a special messenger; they should be checked and signed for by the nurse in charge.

10.  The hospital pharmacist should check the contents of the cupboard at very frequent intervals, comparing the contents with the register and also with his own register. The pharmacist keeps his records for at least two years.

11.  Between the times of the pharmacist’s checks, the nurse in charge also checks the contents of the dangerous drugs cupboard. In many hospitals, these drugs are checked each time there is a change of shift. In this way, the nurse in charge of each shift takes over responsibility for the contents of the cupboard.

Not only in hospitals are these drugs under strict control. Outside hospital, they may only be supplied by a written order signed by a medical practitioner or a registered dentist known to the pharmacist. The prescription must bear the following information:

  • The patient’s name.
  • The date.
  • Signature of prescriber ( Not initials).
  • Name of the drug and the total quantity to be supplied.
  • The amount and the frequency of doses.

Every general practitioner must keep a record of all purchases of these drugs and of the amounts issued to individual patients.


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