Stability of Advanced Life Support Drugs in the Field

Mark A. Gill; Alice Z. Kislik; Lana Gore; Angela Chandna


Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2004;61(6) 

In This Article


Atropine, epinephrine, and lidocaine syringes were studied at 14 fire stations throughout Los Angeles County and at a temperature-controlled laboratory during the summer of 1999. There was no evidence of drug degradation at any site, temperature, or time point ( Table 1 ). These drugs were exposed to temperatures as high as 125.6 °F (52 °C) at the desert site ( Table 4 ). On the other hand, the weather was relatively mild for the Greater Los Angeles area, with average temperatures as low as 67 °F (19.4 °C) at a coastal station to a high of 82.8 °F (28.2 °C) at an inland location. Seven sites exceeded the threshold temperature of 104 °F (40 °C) for as little as 30 minutes and as long as 795 minutes, but none approached the 24-hour total time that would a priori suggest that degradation occurred. Ten of the sites achieved an MKT higher than 77 °F (25 °C), and 6 of these 10 sites achieved an MKT higher than 83 °F (28.3 °C), with the highest MKT calculated being 84.1 °F (28.9 °C) over a 45-day period.


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