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Paramedics turn to expired drugs

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Friday, July 13, 2012

Manufacturing delays and industry changes have forced paramedics in many jurisdictions to turn to expired medications.

As the drug crisis mounted for the Bend Fire Department earlier this year, the agency had 11 medications in its drug kits that were expired, despite risks that the pharmaceuticals might not work as intended in life-or-death situations. The crisis has eased a bit, but the agency still carries expired doses of two drugs in serving a city of 80,000 people.

“We’ve never (before) had to go diving back into the bin to try to retrieve expired boxes of drugs,” said Tom Wright, emergency medical services coordinator for the Bend Fire Department, which has been administering outdated medicines for about a year. “We had the backing of our insurance company that giving expired drugs is better than giving no drugs at all.”

Read more at The Register-Guard.

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