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Tanaiste Leo Varadkar

Trained personnel to administer life-saving medicines

Trained members of the public, under new legislation , will in emergency situations, be allowed to administer life-saving rescue medicines.

The new laws introduced by Health Minister Leo Varadkar covers glucagon for diabetic hypoglycaemia, adrenaline auto-injectors for severe allergic reactions and glyceryl trinitrate for angina. can been
Between 2007 and 2013, 16,722 people died in Ireland after suffering a heart attack from multiple causes, 359 died following an acute asthma attack, 17 from hypoglycaemia, and four from severe allergic shock.

Minister Varadkar said, “These are important new healthcare initiatives which have the potential to save lives. I am allowing organisations such as colleges, workplaces and sports venues to hold emergency ‘rescue’ medicines and arrange for staff to be trained in their use. Pharmacists will also be able to supply and administer these medicines to individuals in emergency circumstances.

“These new arrangements do not in any way change the existing ‘good Samaritan’ rule which allows any member of the public to assist a person in distress to administer a medicine which has been prescribed to them. Equally, these regulations in no way diminish the responsibility or the importance of people continuing to carry the medicines that they need to manage their own health needs.”

The minister has also expanded the range of vaccines which can be administered by pharmacists.

“I am also expanding the range of vaccines which can be administered by pharmacists. Since 2011 pharmacists have been able to offer the flu vaccine to patients. Under the new regulations pharmacists will now also be able to offer shingles and pneumococcal vaccines,” he said.

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