Director: Bradley County EMS fined for carrying expired drugs

Bradley County EMS Director Shawn Fairbanks says they were fined for having expired drugs in one ambulance. (Image: WTVC)

The state of Tennessee has fined the Bradley County Emergency Medical Service for having outdated drugs in one of its ambulances, EMS Director Shawn Fairbanks told NewsChannel 9 on Wednesday.

Fairbanks says they were fined $500.

He says inspectors found two vials of Lasix that were out of date by a few days.

Lasix is used on different kinds of patients including those who have heart failure or are suffering from kidney disease.

We asked a local pharmacist what that could mean for patients.

"Expiration date means.. that's the longest period of time a manufacturer will guarantee its potency," Phillip Smith at Access Pharmacy said.

Smith says people shouldn't be alarmed and that's why the state performs these inspections.

"Most of those places have policies in place where they're supposed to review those drugs and get policies to replace them," Smith said. "I'm sure it was just an oversight."

Smith says since Lasix is an IV medication the risk of bacteria grows after that expiration date.

Smith says the drugs on the ambulance were most likely okay since they were only a few days past the date on the bottle.

He says the same rules apply if you're checking your medicine bottles at home.

"It usually depends on what drug it is but in general I think you probably want to get rid of anything that's expired in your medicine cabinet," Smith said.

Fairbanks says they were also fined for a couple of oxygen bottles that were out of place.

He says the particular ambulance was only out of commission for about 45 minutes.

As of Wednesday afternoon, we have reached out to the state for more information on this inspection and have not heard back.

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