A critical shortage of drugs used during operations and for treatment of cardiac arrest might compel Namibian hospitals to halt carrying out surgeries from July, APA learnt here Friday.The drug shortage is outlined in a notice issued by the Windhoek-based Roman Catholic Private Hospital.
Critical drugs such as Suxamethonium, Glycopyrolate, Dormicum, Neostigmine, Adrenaline and Atropine are expected to run out by the end of June, with local suppliers grappling an unexplained supply problem.
“There is a no-stock crisis of essential items. They are not available from private and public suppliers. The pharmacy is trying everything possible to attain any amount available. Other private or state hospitals do not have sufficient stock as well,” the hospital said.
The shortage has caused panic among medical practitioners, with anaesthetists warning that performing surgery without the drugs “would be gambling with patient lives”.
“If you administer an anaesthetic without these drugs, then you are being medically negligent because these are essential drugs for any operation.
“These drugs are essential for reversing anaesthetics, maintaining of normal blood pressure and the heart rate, and the treatment of cardiac arrest,” an anaesthetist who refused to be identified was quoted as saying, adding that hospitals might be forced to cease performing operations.