What questions need to be answered when purchasing EMS drugs?

EMTs and paramedics administer numerous drugs, like epinephrine for anaphylaxis, albuterol for asthma, and nitroglycerine for chest pain, to treat life-threatening medical conditions and relieve patient pain. The administration of those drugs is governed by scope of practice rules or statutes and medical director-approved protocols.

The decisions of which drug formulations or brands to purchase, where to purchase drugs from and what volume of drugs to purchase are likely collaborative decisions made between the EMS agency operation’s director and medical director. Making those decisions requires the input of field providers and the analysis of patient care data. Here are the important questions to answer when purchasing EMS drugs.

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How to buy EMS drugs for your department 

By Greg Friese

Greg Friese, Stevens Point, Wisconsin, is an author, educator, paramedic, and marathon runner.

Greg was the co-host of the award winning EMSEduCast podcast, the only podcast by and for EMS educators. Greg has written for,, Wilderness Medical Associates, JEMS Magazine, and EMS World Magazine, and the NAEMSE Educator Newsletter.