Unifying emergency pharmacology: Creating medication guidelines for paramedic students

Matthew R. Caffey, James W. Crane

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Despite an increasing focus in healthcare on the use of evidence-based practice, paramedic pharmacology guidelines vary greatly between the different states of Australia and also New Zealand. Imported textbooks, differences in medication availability, and provider/service preferences result in a lack of consistency in the choice of pharmacology options used for the treatment of many common medical emergencies. As the paramedic profession continues to move towards tertiary education and national registration, the lack of consistency in drug guidelines presents a challenge to educators and paramedic students alike. In an attempt to address this issue, an examination of current ambulance guidelines throughout Australia and New Zealand was conducted and the results compared against existing literature and approved information from therapeutic regulatory agencies. After this review, information relating to ninety-two medications was compiled into a standardised format in an attempt to provide a unified view of the pharmacological profile and recommendations for use within Australasia of each medication. The end product is a reference that consolidates the differences in pharmacology guidelines that currently exist in Australasian emergency medicine. To our knowledge, this reference represents a first of its kind drug guide for medical education in the Australasia region to aid in the teaching of emergency pharmacology to paramedic (and other healthcare) students.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-48
Number of pages4
JournalResponse: The Journal of Paramedics Australasia
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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