After someone suffers a stroke, time is of the essence. There is a very small window of opportunity to administer the anticoagulation drugs needed to prevent any disorders. These drugs are complex and require expertise to prepare. That’s why pharmacists are vital in the treatment of stroke during this narrow time frame.
They are uniquely qualified to evaluate the patient, determine what drugs are best to use, and determine dosage.
So, it’s no surprise that outcomes are generally much better for the patient when pharmacists are part of a stroke care team. Pharmacists can be included on these teams wherever strokes need to be treated – inpatient or outpatient centers, as well as emergency departments.
When a stroke victim was brought into the emergency department at one New York hospital, the pharmacist brought a thrombolytic agent right to the patient. The pharmacist assesses the patient’s condition to see if administering the drug is appropriate and then compounds it.
From there, the patient is taken to a neurology intensive care unit or a floor bed depending on his or her condition. From that point, an inpatient pharmacist takes over.
In addition to the thrombolytic drugs, pharmacists can also administer blood pressure medication if needed or reverse the anticoagulation treatment if there is a hemorrhage.
Pharmacists can also help with medication reconciliation, prevention of secondary strokes, risk reduction, patient counseling and education, and care transitions.
To familiarize themselves with the proper use of stroke medications, pharmacists can consult the latest stroke guidelines from the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association. The guidelines also contain information about preventive treatments, including antiplatelets, statin therapy, blood pressure management, and glucose control.
This knowledge will help pharmacists treat stroke victims throughout their hospital stay and give them the best treatment for their condition.
Pharmacists can also help develop computer instructions for the delivery of alteplase to make sure proper procedures are followed. In addition, pharmacists can help develop an acute stroke care procedure encompassing all facets of the alteplase process, including indications and contraindications for the drug, dosing and administration, and monitoring patients after giving alteplase.
If you are looking for a new job, you need to see the people at Cameron and Company. We can find you a pharmacy job that fits with your schedule and your professional goals. We are here for you. Contact Cameron and Company today