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The effect of Pb, Hg, thiosulfate and sulfide on the corrosion of Alloy 22 was studied. In solutions of 1000xJ13 groundwater doped with these contaminants, disks and U-bend specimens exhibited general corrosion and pitting at pH 1, and some dissolution at pH 13. One specimen exposed to the presence of Pb cracked catastrophically. In basic media thiosulfate and sulfide caused both oxide spalling and enhanced general corrosion.
Inadequate hospital stocking and the unavailability of essential antidotes is a worldwide problem with potentially disastrous repercussions for poisoned patients. Research indicates minimal progress has been made in the resolution of this issue in both urban and rural hospitals. In response to this issue the British Columbia Drug and Poison Information Centre developed provincial antidote stocking guidelines in 2003. We sought to determine the compliance with antidote stocking in BC hospitals and any factors associated with inadequate supply.
A 2-part survey, consisting of hospital demographics and antidote stocking information, was distributed in 2005 to all acute care hospital pharmacy directors in BC. The 32 antidotes examined (21 deemed essential) and the definitions of adequacy were based on the 2003 BC guidelines. Availability was reported as number of antidotes stocked per hospital and proportion of hospitals stocking each antidote. For secondary purposes, we assessed factors potentially associated with inadequate stocking.
Surveys were completed for all 79 (100%) hospitals. A mean of 15.6 ± 4.9 antidotes were adequately stocked per hospital. Over 90% of hospitals had adequate stocks of N-acetylcysteine, activated charcoal, naloxone, calcium salts, flumazenil and vitamin K; 71%–90% had adequate dextrose 50% in water (D50W), ethyl alcohol or fomepizole, polyethylene glycol electrolyte solution, protamine sulfate, and cyanide antidotes; 51%–70% had adequate folic acid, glucagon, methylene blue, atropine, pralidoxime, leucovorin, pyridoxine, and deferoxamine; and <50% had adequate isoproterenol and digoxin immune Fab. Only 7 (8.9%) hospitals sufficiently stocked all 21 essential antidotes. Factors predicting poor stocking included small hospital size (p < 0.0001), isolation (p = 0.01) and rural location (p < 0.0001).
Although antidote stocking has improved since the implementation of the 2003 guidelines, essential antidotes are absent in many BC hospitals. Future research should focus on determining the reasons for this situation and the effects of corrective interventions.
Previous studies have demonstrated that antidotes are insufficiently stocked in Canadian and US health care facilities. The purpose of this study was to determine the adequacy of antidote stocking in British Columbia hospitals based on the current guidelines.
A written survey was mailed to hospital pharmacy directors at all 93 acute care facilities in BC. Availability of 14 essential antidotes was classified as sufficient or insufficient based on the current guidelines. Facilities were stratified into small (<50 beds), medium (50–250 beds) or large (>250 beds); teaching or non-teaching; trauma or non-trauma, urban or rural, and isolated or non-isolated.
Complete responses were received from 75 (81%) of 93 hospitals. No hospital had adequate stock of all 14 antidotes. Overall, the average number (± standard deviation) of antidotes adequately stocked was 4.2 ± 2.9 per hospital. Urban hospitals had adequate stocks of 6.5 ± 2.6 antidotes while rural centres had adequate stocks of 2.6 ± 1.8 (p < 0.001). Corresponding figures were 9.0 ± 1.8 for teaching hospitals vs. 3.7 ± 2.4 for non-teaching hospitals (p < 0.001), 8.9 ± 2.0 for trauma centres vs. 3.8 ± 2.5 non-trauma centres (p < 0.001), and 2.5 ± 2.1 for isolated hospitals vs. 4.6 ± 2.9 for non-isolated hospitals (p = 0.018). Small, medium, and large hospitals adequately stocked 2.3 ± 1.7, 5.7 ± 2.2, and 7.7 ± 3.0 antidotes, respectively (p < 0.001). The 4 antidotes most adequately stocked were sodium bicarbonate (77%), N-acetylcysteine (64%), ethanol (49%) and naloxone (47%). Digoxin immune Fab fragments, glucagon, pyridoxine and rattlesnake antivenin were poorly stocked with sufficient supplies of 5%, 7%, 7% and 13%, respectively.
BC hospitals do not have adequate antidote stocks. Provincial stocking guidelines and coordination of antidote purchasing and stocking are necessary to correct these deficiencies.