Pharmacy child treatment trial hailed as a success

Last updated 12:00 28/02/2014

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A MidCentral District Health Board trial to prevent children with dehydration from gastroenteritis ending up in hospital is being hailed a success as it nears its review date.

The Paediatric Gastroenteritis Service pilot, for children aged 3 months to 16 years, has been offered through almost all community pharmacies in the region for the two-year pilot.

Specially trained pharmacists have assessed children and provided treatment and education for mild cases at no cost to families.

At the end of last December, 91 children had used the service with 87 of these being managed within the pharmacies. MidCentral DHB pharmacy adviser Andrew Orange said the service aimed to reduce the likelihood of cases presenting in the emergency department which could be easily treated at home.

"Early indications are that the service has been successful, and to date, we know of only two children that have been assessed and managed by a pharmacist who then needed an ED visit - with only one needing a brief stay in the children's ward."

A large number of families use the programme at Amcal Gimbletts Pharmacy in Foxton.

Owner Neville Gimblett said the service was great for small towns like Foxton.

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- Manawatu Standard

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