A “disproportionately high” number of vets reported to have experienced adverse events (AEs) from the use of authorised veterinary medicines were female, according to the latest pharmacovigilance report from the VMD.
Accidental self-injection, reaction from skin spot-on parasite treatments and splashes to the eyes from the contents of syringes were the main causes of AEs in veterinary staff.
The Veterinary Pharmacovigilance in the United Kingdom Annual Review 2015, published in April, reveals a total of 5,638 spontaneous AEs reported. Of these, 5,512 related to animals, 124 to humans and 2 in the environment. In human AE cases, 123 involved authorised veterinary medicines.
In one case, a vet was administering pentobarbital to a cat when the needle came off the syringe and between 1ml and 20ml of product squirted back into her eyes and mouth.
In another, a locum VN developed swelling around an injury on her hand from a needle on a syringe of medetomidine. She had punctured a blood vessel, but thought only a small amount of product was injected.
A total of 474 products were reported for a suspected lack of expected efficacy (SLEE):
- Medicines for the control of epilepsy were most often suspected of not having performed as well as expected.
- Vaccines were the product type most often reported to have failed to work in dogs.
- Flea spot-on products were those most likely to be reported to have not worked when used to treat cats.
- Most (12) SLEEs in horses involved the use of euthanasia products.
The report states: “A disproportionately high number of vets who were reported to have experienced adverse reactions were female (85%). According to the RCVS, in the year ending in March 2014, 57% of practising vets in the UK were female.
The report concludes: “The number of reports received in 2015 was very slightly lower than those received in 2014. This decrease may be attributed to a continued decrease in the number of reports received relating to animals used in food production.”
It recommends “vets, VNs, large animal handlers and pet owners should be particularly careful when administering injectable or pour-on/spot-on products, to avoid needle stick and eye injuries” and “an alternative means of euthanasia should always be readily available when horses are involved”.
- Read the full story in the May 1 issue of the Veterinary Times.