Date of prep: December 2020
Prescribing information and
adverse events reporting
For healthcare professionals only
A joint National Patient Safety Alert has been issued by NHS Improvement and NHS England national patient safety team, Royal College of General Practitioners, Royal College of Physicians and Society for Endocrinology, regarding the introduction of a new Steroid Emergency Card to support the early recognition and treatment of adrenal crisis in adults.
The actions to be completed as soon as possible and no later than 13th May 2021 include the following:
All patients with primary adrenal insufficiency are steroid-dependent and some patients, who take oral, inhaled or topical steroids for other medical conditions, may develop secondary adrenal insufficiency and become steroid dependent.
The omission of steroids for patients with primary or secondary adrenal insufficiency can lead to an adrenal crisis; a medical emergency which if left untreated can be fatal. If these patients become acutely ill or are subject to major body stressors, such as from trauma or surgery, they require higher doses of steroids to prevent an adrenal crisis.
Recently issued national guidance promotes a new patient-held Steroid Emergency Card to help healthcare staff identify patients with adrenal insufficiency and provide information on emergency treatment if the patient is acutely ill, experiences trauma, surgery or other major stressors.
The alert asks providers to ensure all eligible patients are issued with a Steroid Emergency Card; and to put processes in place to check if a patient has a Steroid Emergency Card ahead of any emergency treatment, elective surgery, or other invasive procedures.
You can view the new Emergency Steroid Card on the Society for Endocrinology’s Adrenal Crisis Information webpage.
This circular is being shared under the Open Government Copyright licence.
Pharmacy in Practice is a UK pharmacy publication with its roots in Scotland.