The Georgia Department of Public Health has asked EMS providers to reserve certain medications for the most critically ill patients, amid a shortage of drugs to treat people in emergency situations.
The state agency is also exploring whether extending expiration dates on medications can serve as a remedy for the EMS drug shortages, which are occurring nationwide.
Public Health has formed a committee to identify the most needed medications. The agency is requesting that the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials create a national list of these drugs, and their doses and forms, to encourage pharmaceutical companies to produce more of them.
The state response to shortages of drugs used by ambulance crews comes in a letter sent Friday from the Public Health commissioner, Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald, to the chairman of the Georgia EMS Medical Directors Advisory Council.
Earlier this month, Dr. Robert Cox, chairman of the advisory council, alerted the public health agency to the problems caused by the shortages. Cox’s letter, obtained by Georgia Health News, said the EMS drug shortages posed a ‘‘real danger to our patients today, without relief in sight.’’ full story