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Importance of Pharmacist Involvement Among a Trauma Team


August 06, 2019

Pharmacists that are part of a trauma team have been found to be an increasingly important component to the team, according to a recent study. Not only do they offer a clinical benefit, they also offer support during regular activities of a trauma program.  

According to the study, published online in the American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy, a national survey from 2007 found that only 23% of American College of Surgeons (ACS) trauma centers included pharmacists.  

“This study describes interval change in use, perceptions, and responsibilities from 2007 to 2017,” said lead study author Blake Porter, PharmD, and colleagues. 

To determine the interval changes, Dr Porter and his team surveyed 335 trauma centers, which were identified from the ACS website. In March 2017, the trauma centers received an emailed survey that assessed hospital demographics, pharmacist coverage and services, and perception of pharmacist value and use. Of the 335 trauma centers, 110 responded (33%).  

According to the findings, pharmacist involvement with trauma resuscitation rose from 23% in 2007 to 70% in 2017. The study authors said that involvement of a pharmacist was the greatest in the Midwest, “but with similar distribution with regards to ACS designation, institution type, and patient volume.”

Compared with the trauma program and administrative responsibilities, common bedside responsibilities of a pharmacist included: 

  • calculating dosages (96%);
  • preparing medications (89%); and,
  • providing medication information (79%).  

According to Dr Porter and colleagues, the trauma and administrative responsibilities include trauma team education, pharmacy operations, medication safety, quality improvement data collection, research, review of quality assurance cases, ACS accreditation preparation, and others. 

“The primary reason for not considering pharmacist involvement was unfamiliarity with these roles/benefits.” 

“Pharmacists are an increasingly important component of the trauma team, as evidenced by growth over the last decade,” the study authors concluded. “In addition to clinical benefit at the bedside, pharmacists can support the regular activities of a trauma program in many meaningful ways.”

Julie Gould  

Reference:

Porter BA, Zaeem M, Hewes PD, et al. Pharmacist involvement in trauma resuscitation across the United States: A 10-year follow-up survey [published online August 1, 2019]. Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2019;76:(16):1226-1230. doi: https://doi.org/10.1093/ajhp/zxz124

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