A national survey performed in 2007 found that only 23% of American College of Surgeons (ACS) trauma centers involved pharmacists in trauma resuscitation. This study describes interval change in use, perceptions, and responsibilities from 2007 to 2017.
Of the 419 trauma centers identified from the ACS website, contact information was available for 335. In March 2017, a survey assessing hospital demographics, pharmacist coverage and services, and perception of pharmacist value and use was emailed to the identified trauma representatives. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and chi-square analysis, as appropriate.
The response rate was 33% (110/335). Pharmacist involvement with trauma resuscitation increased significantly from 23% in 2007 to 70% (p < 0.001) and in 71% of trauma centers was provided by pharmacists practicing within the emergency department. Pharmacist involvement was greatest in the Midwest (p < 0.01), but with similar distribution with regards to ACS designation, institution type, and patient volume. Common bedside responsibilities include calculating dosages (96%), preparing medications (89%), and providing medication information (79%), while trauma program/administrative responsibilities (45%) include trauma team education, pharmacy operations, medication safety, quality improvement data collection, research, review of quality assurance cases, ACS accreditation preparation, and others. The primary reason for not considering pharmacist involvement was unfamiliarity with these roles/benefits.
Pharmacists are an increasingly important component of the trauma team, as evidenced by growth over the last decade. In addition to clinical benefit at the bedside, pharmacists can support the regular activities of a trauma program in many meaningful ways.