Home' Australian Pharmacist : Australian Pharmacist May 2016 Contents Australian Pharmacist May 2016 I ©Pharmaceutical Society of Australia Ltd.
A pharmacological tourniquet
Scientists at James Cook University (JCU)
have teamed up with the US military to
developed a drug therapy that treats
shock and acts like a 'pharmacological
Professor Geoffrey Dobson and Hayley
Letson from the College of Medicine and
Dentistry and the Australian Institute of
Health and Tropical Medicine (AITHM),
have been working on the drug therapy
which reduces internal blood loss by up
Tourniquets in Iraq and Afghanistan
have saved thousands of lives by
stopping major bleeding from
extremities such as arms or legs.
However, there are few options when
it comes to preventing abdominal
blood loss caused by penetrating
foreign objects, gunshots or explosive
In those conflicts it's estimated over
1,100 deaths were deemed potentially
survivable, and the majority were from
internal blood loss and occurred within
the first hour of injury. In addition, there
are many thousands of innocent lives
lost from terrorist attacks and urban
warfare due to internal hemorrhage.
The stabilisation fluid used in this
'pharmacological tourniquet' consists
of adenosine, lidocaine and magnesium
(ALM). The JCU team has shown a single
small IV bolus of ALM over 60 minutes
followed by a four-hour stabilisation 'drip'
resulted in a 60% reduction of internal
blood loss and increased survival.
Dr Dobson said: 'The ALM fluid is
administered intravenously and
circulates around the body, kick-starts
the heart, gently raises blood pressure,
protects the heart, brain and organs, and
slows bleeding by plugging up the leaks.
It is not a foam or synthetic compound
like that used to plug a flat tyre, it is a
therapeutic drug that protects the body
and stops the blood from thinning,
allowing it to rapidly form a viable clot
and reduce bleeding,' Dr Dobson said.
Currently, many combatants die before
they reach a medical facility.
'The uniqueness of our ALM fluid is its
small-volume and ability to protect
the whole body at the point-of-injury,
as part of a knife-edge balancing act
between life and death.
'It resuscitates the body after
hemorrhagic shock, plugs the holes,
reduces inflammation, protects the vital
organs, including the brain, and reduces
infection. It is all about providing the
combat medic with a new way to buy
time on the battlefield,' Dr Dobson said.
The Queensland Government has approved legislation to enable
pharmacists to administer vaccinations to the public in a community
Queensland has been a national
leader in pharmacist immunisations
following the success of the high-profile
Queensland Pharmacy Immunisation
Pilot (QPIP) which has been strongly
supported by James Cook University,
Queensland University of Technology,
PSA and the PGA.
PSA Queensland Branch President
Mr Bruce Elliot welcomed the
Government's decision, saying the
amended legislation would enable
pharmacist-delivered vaccinations to
provide healthcare benefits to local
'This legislation will allow trained
pharmacists to vaccinate for influenza,
measles and pertussis, providing
positive health outcomes for the
community,' Mr Elliot said.
'Community pharmacy provides a
convenient and easily-accessible
location for consumers to access
vital health care services, such
as immunisations. Additionally,
this legislation will ensure there is a
trained cohort of pharmacists who could
also be authorised to quickly deliver
vaccinations to the community during
times of emergency or pandemics.'
The Pharmacy Guild of Australia (PGA)
Queensland Branch President Mr Tim
Logan said that the change in legislation
was a fantastic example of the PSA and
the Guild working together to advocate
for their members.
'I would like to take this opportunity
to acknowledge both the former
Queensland Minister for Health,
The Hon. Lawrence Springborg, and the
current Minister for Health The Hon.
Cameron Dick for their interest and
eventual action for regulation. We also
acknowledge the interest in, and
guidance to the pharmacist vaccination
trial from Queensland's Chief Health
Officer, Dr Jeannette Young.'
'Through the joint efforts of the
Queensland Branches of the PGA and
PSA as well as Queensland Health
we have pioneered the regulation of
pharmacist's delivering immunisations
in pharmacies which is now seen in
every State and Territory in Australia,
apart from Victoria,' Mr Logan said.
ˆ PSA Queensland Branch President Bruce Elliot
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