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‘Outstanding’ pharmacist praised for saving teenager from anaphylactic shock

A Berkshire pharmacist has been praised for his “outstanding duty of care” to a 16-year-old patient suffering from an anaphylactic reaction on Bonfire Night weekend.

The mother of a 16-year-old girl ran into Mortimer Pharmacy, a 100-hour pharmacy in the remote village of Mortimer, Berkshire at 8pm on November 6, “crying for help”, pharmacy technician Vinay Javvaji told C+D. 

Advice to pharmacists in an emergency

Sarah Baker, campaign manager at Anaphylaxis Campaign

Regulation 238 of the Human Medicines Regulations 2012 states that anyone can administer adrenaline for the purpose of saving life in an emergency.

Therefore, pharmacists using their professional and clinical judgement can administer adrenaline in an emergency to persons presenting with symptoms of anaphylaxis.

• Administer the adrenaline auto-injector immediately if you observe any signs of anaphylaxis. If in doubt use. Don’t delay

• Dial 999 – say anaphylaxis (“ana-fill-axis”) – straight after administering the adrenaline auto-injector

• Lie the patient down and raise their legs

• Sit the patient up if they are struggling to breathe but don’t change their position suddenly

• Lie them down again as soon as you can

• Keep them lying down even if they are feeling better

• Administer the second auto-injector if they haven’t improved after five minutes.

The girl, who was sat in the front seat of a car in the pharmacy’s car park, was reportedly struggling to breathe and unable to walk.

Pharmacist Mohammed Rafiq was working alone in the pharmacy when he was called to attend to the patient in the car, with minimal street lighting. While assessing the situation, he “suspected an anaphylactic reaction”, Mr Javvaji recounted to C+D.

After asking the patient’s mother to call paramedics, Mr Rafiq, who is an independent prescriber, “ran into the pharmacy and picked up two adrenaline pens”.

A spokesperson for South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust confirmed it was called to Victoria Road “to a medical emergency” at 8.05pm.   

 

“He deserves recognition for his great efforts”

 

The patient’s condition deteriorated further after Mr Rafiq administered the first shot, so five minutes later, he administered a second dose of adrenaline, according to Mr Javvaji.

By the time paramedics arrived on the scene, “the adrenaline had kicked in”, Mr Javvaji said. The patient was then able to walk and speak in full sentences, he claimed. 

The Foundation Trust spokesperson confirmed that an ambulance crew was sent to the scene and arrived at 8.32pm.

“The patient was taken to North Hampshire Hospital in Basingstoke,” they added.

Mr Javvaji found it “really impressive” that Mr Rafiq was able to quickly identify, “in the pitch dark”, that the teenager was having an anaphylactic reaction, he told C+D.

“His subsequent actions saved a 16-year-old’s life.

“He’s a humble pharmacist, but I feel he deserves recognition for his great efforts. Not many would have been able to do what he did,” he added.

 

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