Storage and Safe Guarding of Medications Administered by EMT-Bs.

Bureau of EMS Policy Statement
Policy Statement # 09-11
Date December 28, 2009
Subject Re: Storage and Safe Guarding of Medications Administered by EMT-Bs.
Supercedes/Updates 00-14

Purpose

The medications approved for use by Emergency Medical Technician - Basics (EMT-B) are considered to be lifesaving measures. As such, care should be taken to allow for immediate access, while safe guarding the medications when not caring for a patient. This policy is developed to address concerns regarding the storage and safe-guarding of medications that may be administered in accordance with state and regional BLS protocols by EMT-Bs.

Policy

Prior to implementing prehospital medication administration, each agency must receive approval from their Regional Emergency Medical Advisory Committee (REMAC). All EMS agencies carrying medications for use by EMT-Bs, prior to placing them in service, must develop policies and procedures that include, but may not be limited to the following items; inventory control, storage, expiration and replacement of these items and the process for provider education.

In an effort to assist agencies in maintaining control of the medications that may be administered by EMT-Bs, the following should be the minimum requirements implemented by each service providing this level of care.

  • The medications must be stored in an environment that protects them from extreme temperature changes and light. According to most medication manufacturer's guidelines, medications must be stored at temperatures that range from 59 degrees to 77 degrees .
  • All medications must be secured in a container or location capable of being secured with a lock or numbered tear-away-type inventory control tag when not being used for patient care.
  • The medication must be placed in either a closed ambulance compartment or inside a bag or box that is taken to the patient's side.
  • It is strongly recommended that BLS medications not be placed in the same locked cabinet with medications, syringes or needles used by Advanced Life Support Providers.
  • The EMS agency must provide safe disposal for medical waste/sharps on EMS vehicles.

‡ New Jersey - Drug Adulteration Study, October, 1995