|Title:||Combopen and Atropine Auto-Injectors|
|Document ID:||Operational Circular OP 1864/04|
|Date of issue:||Thursday, 28 October 2004|
|Status:||NO LONGER APPLICABLE|
|Description:||This Operational Circular provides information and protocols for Combopen and Atropine auto-injector use as antidotes for exposure to nerve agents.|
|Applicable to:||All staff|
|Category:||Disaster Preparedness and Management|
|Period of effect:||from 1 October 2004 to 30 September 2005|
|Authorised by:||Dr Andrew Robertson, Director, Disaster Preparedness and Management, 08-Oct-2004|
|Print version:||View print version|
Combopen and Atropine Auto-InjectorsSUPERSEDED BY OD0224/09
The Department of Health has received a further 2500 Combopen auto-injectors and the following protocols must be adhered to by all recipients of the previous allocations and allocations from the new stock.
These goods are exempt from Registration on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods by virtue of section 18A of the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989. This section allows the Commonwealth Minister for Health and Ageing to exempt specified medications and medical devices from the rigorous registration or listing procedure normally required under the Act, so that they can be made available immediately for supply in Australia.
This power may only be exercised where it is considered to be in the national interest that:
The Commonwealth Minister for Health and Ageing has exempted the above goods from the necessity to be registered on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods, in order to allow their supply in Australia to combat a potential terrorist threat. This exemption is subject to conditions, specifically in relation to secure storage, supervision and record keeping. Specifically, these conditions are:
PROTOCOLS FOR USE
Combopen and atropine auto-injectors are antidotes for exposure to nerve agents. These are schedule 4 medications that can only be administered under the direction of specific authorised medical officer.
The State Health Coordinator, Dr Andrew Robertson,(the Director, Disaster Preparedness and Management), or his proxy's, Dr. Paul Mark, Dr Paul Van Buynder or Dr William Beresford, are the only officers who can authorise their release.
The State Health Coordinator at the time, is contactable 24 hours a day, seven days a week, via page 9328 0556.
The release of a chemical agent may not be recognised until there are multiple casualties and there may be some initial ambiguity and/or delay in determining the chemical involved, however, there is only a narrow time frame in which to administer life saving treatments, including the administration of antidotes (auto-injectors).
Generally Police and FESA Fire Services will be first to the scene of an incident followed by St John's Ambulance. If it is determined that a chemical agent has been released the State Health Coordinator will be advised and he will determine whether auto-injectors should be administered. He will also advise the Area Wide Medical Coordinator, and if required, approve the administration of antidotes in the hospital/s.
The Area Wide Medical Coordinator will contact the pharmacy or pharmacies of the hospitals that may have exposed patients being brought to the facility by ambulance or self-presenting, to have their supply of Combopen and Atropine auto-injectors made available.
If there is a requirement for the auto-injectors to be used elsewhere, the State Health Coordinator will advise the Chief Pharmacist of the relevant hospitals that the supply they currently hold will be removed.
Should there be any concerns by a pharmacy regarding these goods, please contact the State Health Coordinator, 9328 0556.
MONITORING AND REVIEW
The Executive Officer, Disaster Preparedness and Management is responsible for the monitoring and review of this document on an annual basis.
Dr Andrew Robertson
This circular last updated: Thursday, 28 October 2004 at 12:00am