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View patent safety alerts from the National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA) and medical device alerts from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) which are relevant to Emergency Medicine.
Acute Bronchitis/ Bronchiolitis – Early Warning (8 Nov 2012)
This EDSSS aims to provide early warning of large increases of transmissible disease through monitoring daily ED attendances across a range of syndromic indicators. This information may help front line clinicians with service planning. Please send any feedback to
Paracetamol overdose: new guidance on the use of intravenous acetylcysteine (3 Sept 2012) - The Medicines & Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) in collaboration with the College has published new guidance following a review by the Commission on Human Medicines of the treatment of paracetamol poisoning. Professor Simon Thomas chaired the implementation group, with input from the National Poisons Information Service (NPIS). The key changes from previous guidance are:
- A single treatment line regardless of hepatotoxicity risk (see Annex I, via link below).
- The duration of administration of the first dose of intravenous acetylcysteine is increased from 15 minutes to 1 hour.
- Removal of hypersensitivity as a contraindication to treatment with acetylcysteine.
- Provision of weight-based dosing tables for adults and children.
- A Technical Information Leaflet (TIL) which gives more detailed instructions on the preparation of acetylcysteine infusions (see Annex II, via link below).
These changes are intended to simplify treatment decisions, minimise allergic reactions and reduce prescribing errors. They reflect the findings of the Commission on Human Medicines that risk factor assessment was difficult and inconsistently applied in clinical practice. There have also been many reports of prescribing and administration errors. This new guidance will be published in the next edition of the British National Formulary (BNF). We would therefore recommend that you introduce these changes as soon as possible, and cascade this information to all clinical staff in your Emergency Department.