Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Out of Stock

One of the daily tasks here is figuring out what medicines are actually available on the wards. If we order a particular medicine and it's not available, the patient doesn't get it and typically we don't find out until the next day when we see what's been checked off on the order sheet.

We currently have a patient who has cryptococcal meningitis, an opportunistic fungal infection seen in HIV patients, and is being treated with amphotericin B, a drug that causes low potassium levels. The common practice here is to empirically give supplemental potassium and check renal function and electrolytes a couple of times a week. Along with a shortage of drugs like heparin, ceftriaxone, chloramphenicol, and paracetamol (tylenol) we are currently out of potassium.

The solution?

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