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  • Medications you carry and can prescribe
    1. Oxygen: can prescribe for any patient, especially those with hypoxia and inadequate breathing. Administered via inhalation.
    2. Oral glucose: prescribe for diabetic patients with hypoglycemia. Administered orally.
    3. Activated charcoal: prescribe for patients who have swallowed poisons (charcoal binds poisons and carry them out of the body through bowel movements). Administer orally.
    4. Aspirin: prescribe for chest pain related to clots blocking the coronary arteries (Aspirin is a blood thinner, it prevents clots from forming). Administer orally.
  • Medications the patient carries that you can help administer
    1. Metered-dose inhaler (MDI): asthma and other patients with respiratory diseases have this. It is used to dilate the bronchioles. Administer by inhalation.
    2. Nitroglycerin (nitro): cardiac patients have these. It is a vasodilator, which lowers blood pressure and increases blood supply to the heart. Administer by sublingual means. Note: do not administer for patients with low blood pressure (below 90 systolic or 30 below the baseline blood pressure) or who are taking drugs for erectile dysfunction.
    3. Epinephrine (epi): patients with severe allergies (anaphylaxis) have this, usually in the form of an epi pen (auto-injector). The epinephrine counters the effects of anaphylaxis. Administer by injection (using the epi pen).
  • Administration route.
    1. Sublingual: placed under the tongue, absorbed across the mucous membrane.
    2. Oral: swallowed.
    3. Inhalation.
    4. Injection.
  • Administration form.
    • Tablet / compressed powder: taken orally or sublingually. For example, aspirin or nitro.
    • Liquid for injection: for example, epi.
    • Gel: taken orally. For example, glucose.
    • Suspension: taken orally. For example activated charcoal.
    • Fine powder for inhalation: these are mists. for example, MDIs.
    • Gas: for example oxygen.
    • Spray: these are droplets. Some nitro is in the spray form, where droplets are deposited with each spray.
    • Nebulizer: these are aerosols. For example, MDIs.
  • Medication terminology
    • Indications: situations that you should administer a medication.
    • Contraindications: situations that you should NOT administer a medication.
    • Dose: how much medication to give.
    • Administration: administration route and form.
    • Actions: the effect of the drug.
    • Side effects: negative effects of the drug.
  • Steps to check for in administering medication
    1. Right circumstance: either on-line or off-line medical direction calls for the administration of this medication for this situation. Do NOT administer medication without medical direction or set protocol.
    2. Right patient: check prescription label to make sure it's not prescribed for someone else.
    3. Right date: make sure the drug is not past its expiration date.
    4. Right medication: check to make sure that what's inside the container is indeed the right drug. Watch out for discoloration or impurities and discard any medication that has "gone bad".
    5. Right dose: too little won't have an effect. Too much can be dangerous for the patient.
    6. Right route: make sure you can distinguish between sublingual and oral. For example, nitro is sublingual, so place it under the tongue (don't let the patient swallow it).