YAKUGAKU ZASSHI
Online ISSN : 1347-5231
Print ISSN : 0031-6903
ISSN-L : 0031-6903
126 巻 , 10 号
選択された号の論文の19件中1~19を表示しています
誌上シンポジウム
  • 小島 周二
    2006 年 126 巻 10 号 p. 825
    発行日: 2006/10/01
    公開日: 2006/10/01
    ジャーナル フリー
  • 酒井 一夫
    2006 年 126 巻 10 号 p. 827-831
    発行日: 2006年
    公開日: 2006/10/01
    ジャーナル フリー
      “Hormesis” is defined, originally in the field of toxicology, as a phenomenon in which a harmful substance gives stimulating effects to living organisms when the quantity is small. The concept was extended and applied to ionizing radiation, high doses of which are harmful. Although radiation has been thought to be, based on findings in high dose ranges, harmful no matter low the dose is, recent investigation revealed that living organisms possess the ability to respond to low-dose radiation in very sophisticated ways. A good example of such responses is the so-called radiation adaptive response, a process in which acquired radioresistance is induced by low-dose radiation given in advance. The stimulation of certain bioprotective functions, including antioxidative capacity, DNA repair functions, apoptosis, and immune functions are thought to underly the adaptive response. The adaptive response is effective for chromosome induction, acute death, and tumorigenesis induced by high doses of radiation. Radiation hormesis and adaptive response provide a new scope in the risk assessment and medical application of ionizing radiation.
  • 米澤 司郎
    2006 年 126 巻 10 号 p. 833-840
    発行日: 2006/10/01
    公開日: 2006/10/01
    ジャーナル フリー
      A priming X-ray exposure to 0.05—0.10 Gy or 0.3—0.5 Gy imparts radioresistance (decrease in bone marrow death rate after high-dose X-rays) in mice 2—2.5 months or 9—17 days postexposure, respectively. This radiation-adaptive response in whole animals differs from that in cells observed several hours to several days (at most) later. An adaptive response was observed in ICR and C57BL/6 strains of mice, but not in BALB/c and C3H strains. The biological mechanisms of an acquired radioresistance induced by a priming exposure to 0.45 Gy in C57BL/6 mice have been studied. The recovery of blood-forming stem cells, determined as endogenous spleen colonies, was markedly stimulated by priming irradiation. The reduction in bone marrow death seems chiefly due to the stimulated recovery of blood-forming stem cells. But mice pretreated at this priming dose did not show a marked recovery of peripheral blood cell counts after challenging irradiation with mid- or sublethal X-ray doses (a significant, albeit slight, increase in the blood cell counts in the preirradiated group was observed after a lower challenging exposure to 5.0 Gy). The adaptive response depends on p53, as observed in cell experiments. The stem cells might produce an unknown factor(s) that contributes to acquired radioresistance. In a preliminary experiment, the life span of C57BL/6 mice after ascertaining their 30-day survival rates was not shortened by preirradiation.
  • 細井 義夫
    2006 年 126 巻 10 号 p. 841-848
    発行日: 2006/10/01
    公開日: 2006/10/01
    ジャーナル フリー
      Total-body irradiation (TBI) with 0.02—0.25 Gy has been reported to have antitumor effects. In mice, low-dose TBI induces tumor growth delay, antimetastatic effects, suppressive effects on the incidence of spontaneous thymiclymphoma, sensitization of tumor to ionizing radiation, and decrease in TD50 value. In artificial metastasis, 0.20 Gy TBI suppressed lung metastasis when it was conducted between 3 h before and 3 h after tumor cell injection into a tail vein. In spontaneous metastasis, 0.15—0.20 Gy TBI suppressed lung metastasis. Irradiation with 0.15 Gy twice a week from 11 weeks of age for 40 weeks significantly suppressed the incidence of spontaneous thymic lymphoma in AKR/J mice, which caused prolonged life span. Low-dose TBI has been used in the clinical treatment of lymphomatous malignancies including chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL). The usual practice was to give 0.1 Gy TBI three times a week or 0.15 Gy TBI two times a week to a total dose of 1.5 Gy. Despite this low total dose, low-dose fractionated TBI could induce long-term remissions and was as effective as the chemotherapy to which it was compared. Experimental data suggest that the antitumor effects of low-dose TBI could be explained by immune enhancement, induction of apoptosis, and intrinsic hypersensitivity to low-dose irradiation. Possible mechanisms of immune enhancement are elimination of the T-suppressor subset of lymphocytes and augmentation of the immune response including alteration of cytokine release and enhanced proliferative activity of lymphocytes to mitogenic stimuli.
  • 小島 周二
    2006 年 126 巻 10 号 p. 849-857
    発行日: 2006/10/01
    公開日: 2006/10/01
    ジャーナル フリー
      We first examined the relation between the induction of glutathione and immune functions in mice after low-dose γ-ray irradiation. Thereafter, inhibition of tumor growth by radiation was confirmed in Ehrlich solid tumor (EST)-bearing mice. The total glutathione level of the splenocytes transiently increased soon after irradiation and reached a maximum at around 4 h postirradiation. Thereafter, the level reverted to the 0 h value by 24 h postirradiation. A significantly high splenocyte proliferative response was also recognized 4 h postirradiation. Natural killer (NK) activity was also increased significantly in a similar manner. The time at which the response reached the maximum coincided well with that of maximum total glutathione levels of the splenocytes in the γ-ray-irradiated mice. Reduced glutathione exogenously added to splenocytes obtained from normal mice enhanced the proliferative response and NK activity in a dose-dependent manner. The inhibitory effects of radiation on tumor growth was then examined in EST-bearing mice. Repeated low-dose irradiation (0.5 Gy, four times, before and within an early time after inoculation) significantly delayed the tumor growth. Finally, the effect of single low-dose (0.5 Gy), whole-body γ-ray irradiation on immune balance was examined to elucidate the mechanism underlying the antitumor immunity. The percentage of B cells in blood lymphocytes was selectively decreased after radiation, concomitant with an increase in that of the helper T cell population. The IFN-γ level in splenocyte culture prepared from EST-bearing mice was significantly increased 48 h after radiation, although the level of IL-4 was unchanged. IL-12 secretion from macrophages was also enhanced by radiation. These results suggest that low-dose γ-rays induce Th1 polarization and enhance the activities of tumoricidal effector cells, leading to an inhibition of tumor growth.
  • 鈴木 啓司, 児玉 靖司, 渡邉 正己
    2006 年 126 巻 10 号 p. 859-867
    発行日: 2006/10/01
    公開日: 2006/10/01
    ジャーナル フリー
      Accumulated evidence has shown that exposure to low-dose radiation, especially doses less than 0.1 Gy, induces observable effects on mammalian cells. However, the underlying molecular mechanisms have not yet been clarified. Recently, it has been shown that low-dose radiation stimulates growth factor receptor, which results in a sequential activation of the mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway. In addition to the activation of the membrane-bound pathways, it is becoming evident that nuclear pathways are also activated by low-dose radiation. Ionizing radiation has detrimental effects on chromatin structure, since radiation-induced DNA double-strand breaks result in discontinuity of nucleosomes. Recently, it has been shown that ATM protein, the product of the ATM gene mutated in ataxia-telangiectasia, recognizes alteration in the chromatin structure, and it is activated through intermolecular autophosphorylation at serine 1981. Using antibodies against phosphorylated ATM, we found that the activated and phosphorylated ATM protein is detected as discrete foci in the nucleus between doses of 10 mGy and 1 Gy. Interestingly, the size of the foci induced by low-dose radiation was equivalent to the foci induced by high-dose radiation. These results indicate that the initial signal is amplified through foci growth, and cells evolve a system by which they can respond to a small number of DNA double-strand breaks. From these results, it can be concluded that low-dose radiation is sensed both in the membrane and in the nucleus, and activation of multiple signal transduction pathways could be involved in manifestations of low-dose effects.
総説
  • 西郡 秀夫
    2006 年 126 巻 10 号 p. 869-884
    発行日: 2006年
    公開日: 2006/10/01
    ジャーナル フリー
      Glucocorticoids (GC) have been widely used as a therapeutic drug for various diseases. However, there are many complications of GC therapy including cataracts. In a series of studies to elucidate the actions of GC using 15-day-old developing chick embryos, we found that GC produced hyperglycemia, hyperlipemia, osteoporosis, and cataractous lenses with a high incidence (>90%) within 48 h. Cataract formation is caused by oxidative stresses, probably derived from GC effects on the main target organ, the liver, and can be prevented by radical scavengers including ascorbic acid, and insulin. Ascorbic acid does not inhibit the inflammatory and immunosuppressive effects of GC. Therefore by analyzing and decreasing risk factors producing side effects, it will be possible to improve GC therapy without the loss of GC activity.
  • 増田 康輔
    2006 年 126 巻 10 号 p. 885-899
    発行日: 2006/10/01
    公開日: 2006/10/01
    ジャーナル フリー
      The mechanism of carbon tetrachloride (CCl4)-induced hepatotoxicity, especially necrosis and fatty liver, has long been a challenging subject of many researchers from various fields over the past 50 years. Even though the mechanisms of tissue damages are different among chemicals and affected tissues, CCl4 has played a role as a key substance of tissue injury. A number of studies have been conducted and various hypotheses have been raised. As a result, several important basic mechanisms of tissue damages have emerged, involving metabolic activation, reactive free radical metabolites, lipid peroxidation, covalent binding and disturbance of calcium homeostasis. Recent studies also revealed inflammation and regeneration as important modification factors in the tissue injury. The author attempted to summarize the history of CCl4 research with some emphasis on the experiments done by the author and his colleagues. Their studies with isolated perfused rat liver suggest that covalent binding of CCl4 metabolites rather than lipid peroxidation has a significant role in the production of centrilobular necrosis following CCl4 administration. Further studies are necessary to unveil detailed mechanisms of hepatocyte necrosis induced by CCl4.
  • 長野 哲雄
    2006 年 126 巻 10 号 p. 901-913
    発行日: 2006/10/01
    公開日: 2006/10/01
    ジャーナル フリー
      Fluorescence imaging is the most powerful technique currently available for continuous observation of dynamic intracellular processes in living cells. However, only a very limited range of biomolecules can be visualized because of the lack of flexible design strategies for fluorescence probes. In our laboratory, it was elucidated that fluorescein which has been widely employed as a core of fluorescence probes could be understood as a directly linked electron donor/fluorophore acceptor system. Fluorescence properties of fluorescein derivatives could be easily anticipated and modulated by controlling the rate of photoinduced electron transfer (PeT) from the donor moiety to the xanthene fluorophore. Further, we found that the opposite direction of PeT from the singlet excited fluorophore to the electron acceptor moiety could be occurred. More than twenty probes for imaging of nitric oxide, β-galactosidase, highly reactive oxygen species, zinc ion et al. have been developed according to precise and rational design strategies based on PeT mechanism.
  • 明石 知子
    2006 年 126 巻 10 号 p. 915-929
    発行日: 2006/10/01
    公開日: 2006/10/01
    ジャーナル フリー
      Mass spectrometry has widely been used as a tool for identification of proteins in the research fields of biochemistry and clinical chemistry because it can provide accurate information on molecular masses of biological molecules with a small amount of sample in a short time. If mass spectrometry is properly used, it can also give information on the tertiary structure or on the molecular interactions of biological macromolecules. The present paper focuses on the role of mass spectrometry as a tool for the investigation on the tertiary structure of proteins and on the biological molecular interactions that play essential roles in various biological events.
  • 田中 正一
    2006 年 126 巻 10 号 p. 931-944
    発行日: 2006年
    公開日: 2006/10/01
    ジャーナル フリー
      Replacement of the α-hydrogen atom of L-α-amino acids with an alkyl substituent results in α,α-disubstituted amino acids. The modification changes the properties of the amino acids. Incorporation of α,α-disubstituted amino acids into oligopeptides restricts the conformational freedom of their peptides. The author developed a synthetic route for optically active α-ethylated α,α-disubstituted amino acids using chiral cyclic 1,2-diol, and disclosed that the preferred conformation of peptides composed of chiral α-ethylated disubstituted amino acids is a fully planar conformation, whereas that of chiral α-methylated disubstituted amino acids is a 310-helical structure. Furthermore, the author designed and synthesized two chiral cyclic α,α-disubstituted amino acids, i.e., (3S,4S)-1-amino-3,4-di(methoxy)cyclopentanecarboxylic acid {(S,S)-Ac5cdOM}, and (1R,6R)-8-aminobicyclo-[4.3.0]non-3-ene-8-carboxylic acid {(R,R)-Ab5,6=c}. They do not have a chiral center at the α-position, but do have chiral centers on the side-chain cyclopentane or the bicyclic skeleton. The preferred secondary structure of the (S,S)-Ac5cdOM homopeptides was the left-handed (M) 310-helical structure (hexapeptide) and the left-handed (M) α-helical structure (octa- and decapeptides), while that of the (R,R)-Ab5,6=c hexapeptide was both the right-handed (P) and left-handed (M) 310-helices. These results indicate that the side-chain chiral centers affect the secondary structure of their peptides, and the side-chain chiral environment is important for the control of the helical-screw direction of peptides.
  • 大矢 進
    2006 年 126 巻 10 号 p. 945-953
    発行日: 2006/10/01
    公開日: 2006/10/01
    ジャーナル フリー
      K+ channels play important roles in the control of a large variety of physiological functions such as muscle contraction, neurotransmitter release, hormone secretion, and cell proliferation. Over 100 cloned K+ channel pore-forming α and accessory β subunits have been identified so far. Here, we introduce a series of molecular pharmacological and physiological studies on some types of voltage-dependent K+ channels and Ca2+-activated K+ channels. We examined molecular cloning and functional characterization of novel, fast-inactivating, A-type K+ channel α (Kv4.3L) and β (KChIP2S) subunits predominantly expressed in mammalian heart and found the sites in Kv4 channels for 1) the regulation of voltage dependency and 2) the CaMKII phosphorylation in the C-terminal cytoplasmic domain. Moreover, we found that delayed rectifier-type K+ channels (ERG1 and KCNQ) contribute to the resting membrane conductance in vascular and gastrointestinal smooth muscles. The large-conductance Ca2+-activated K+ (BK) channel is ubiquitously expressed and contributes to diverse physiological processes. Recent reports have shown that a BK-like channel (mitoKCa) is expressed in cardiac mitochondria, suggesting that BK channel openers protect mammalian hearts against ischemic injury. Our studies revealed that BKβ1 interacts with cytochrome c oxidase I (Cco1) in cardiac mitochondria, and that the activation of BK channels by 17β-estradiol results in a significant increase in the survival rate of ventricular myocytes. These findings suggest that BKβ1 may play an important role in the regulation of cell respiration in cardiac myocytes and be a target for the modulation by female gonadal hormones.
  • 熊谷 健
    2006 年 126 巻 10 号 p. 955-964
    発行日: 2006/10/01
    公開日: 2006/10/01
    ジャーナル フリー
      Oxidatively modified low-density lipoprotein (OxLDL) is present in atherosclerotic lesions and has been proposed to play an important role in atherogenesis. Asp-hemolysin, a hemolytic toxin from Aspergillus fumigatus, is a binding protein for OxLDL. This study was undertaken to clarify the biological activity of OxLDL and the potentially of Asp-hemolysin as a regulation factor to atherogenic effect by OxLDL. We first analyzed the interaction between OxLDL and blood coagulation factors, which are involved in the blood coagulation pathway. OxLDL caused prolongation of activated partial thromboplastin time (APTT) as a parameter of the intrinsic pathway of blood coagulation in a dose- and oxidation time-dependent manner. In addition, OxLDL significantly inhibited blood coagulation factor VIII, IX, and XI activity. Furthermore, we demonstrated that factor VIII binds to OxLDL. These results indicate that the binding of factor VIII to OxLDL affects the intrinsic pathway of the blood coagulation cascade. Next, to clarify the structure-function relationship of Asp-hemolysin, we expressed Asp-hemolysin in Escherichia coli as a fusion protein with a maltose-binding protein (MBP) and purified it by affinity chromatography. The purified recombinant Asp-hemolysin showed an immunoreactivity with the anti-Asp-hemolysin antibody. In addition, MBP-Asp-hemolysin fusion protein exhibited binding activity to Ox-LDL as did native Asp-hemolysin. Furthermore, to investigate the effect of the Asp-hemolysin-related peptide (P-21), a synthetic peptide derived from a region of Asp-hemolysin that is rich in positive charges, on macrophage proliferation induced by OxLDL. P-21 inhibited OxLDL-induced macrophage proliferation in a dose-dependent manner. In addition, the binding analysis of P-21 to OxLDL indicated that P-21 binds to OxLDL. These results indicate that P-21 inhibits the OxLDL-induced macrophage proliferation through binding of P-21 to OxLDL. In conclusion, we have shown that OxLDL affects the intrinsic pathway of blood coagulation, and its mechanism is dependent on the binding of factor VIII to OxLDL. Furthermore, we indicate the possibility that Asp-hemolysin is a useful tool to investigate the pathophysiological significance of OxLDL. In particular, since the P-21, an Asp-hemolysin-related peptide, inhibits the OxLDL-induced macrophage proliferation through binding of P-21 to OxLDL, further study on the binding mechanism between Asp-hemolysin-related peptide and OxLDL may provide important information on the prevention and treatment of atherosclerosis.
一般論文
  • 恩田 光子, 藤井 泰元, 山道 幸徳, 河野 公一
    2006 年 126 巻 10 号 p. 965-971
    発行日: 2006年
    公開日: 2006/10/01
    ジャーナル フリー
      In order to examine the structural features of community pharmacy function and to clarify areas meriting priority in efforts to expand pharmacy functions in the home care field, a questionnaire survey was conducted. Using the distribution of responses regarding the actual conditions entailed in the 16 categories of pharmacy services, factor analysis was carried out. Structural equation modeling was performed and the fitness of the path model constructed to study the interrelatedness of the individual factors extracted by factor analysis was considered. Four factors comprised pharmacy services “dispensing”, “supply of goods”, “offering home care”, and “cooperation in community health and medical programs”. The interrelatedness of four pharmacy functions by the result of structural equation modeling indicated the following insights. 1) By strengthening “cooperation in community health and medical programs”, it is possible to directly improve the functions of “dispensing”, and “offering home care”. An improvement in “collecting and utilizing patient information”, “providing appropriate instruction”, “providing introductions to medical institutions and physicians”, and “supplying over-the-counter drugs” can be expected as a result of direct benefits accrued by “cooperation in community health and medical programs”. 2) By strengthening “offering home care”, it is possible to directly improve “supply of goods”. An improvement in “stocking long-term care goods and sanitary goods” can be expected as a result of direct benefits accrued by “offering home care”. In conclusion, this study indicated that the areas meriting priority in the expansion and upgrading of pharmacy functions is stronger “cooperation in community health and medical programs”.
  • 本間 真人, 石原 三也, 千 文, 幸田 幸直
    2006 年 126 巻 10 号 p. 973-978
    発行日: 2006/10/01
    公開日: 2006/10/01
    ジャーナル フリー
      Typical adverse effects of Shakuyaku-kanzo-To (SKT), an herbal medicine containing licorice, is a licorice-induced pseudoaldosteronism with hypokalemia and hypertension. The risk factors for this side effect are still unclear. To identify the risk factors, we surveyed 37 cases of licorice-induced pseudoaldosteronism in the literature and serum potassium levels in our patients receiving SKT and Shosaiko-To (SST), which contain 6 g and 1.5 g of licorice in the daily dose, respectively. In the case report survey, pseudoaldosteronism developed a median 35 (range 2—231) days after the administration of SKT, which is shorter than after SST (450, range 150—2190 days) and other licorice products including glycyrrhizin (210, range 14—730 days). A significant correlation was observed between the glycyrrhizin contents in the licorice preparations and the dosing periods for developing pseudoaldosteronism (r=-0.700, p < 0.01). A negative correlation was also observed between serum potassium level and dosing period for SKT, but not for SST. The difference in age (65.3 ± 11.6 vs. 57.2 ± 17.3 y) and dosing period (57.3 ± 66.3 vs. 19.0 ± 24.3 days) between the patients with and without hypokalemia after the administration of SKT was statistically significant (p < 0.05). The occurrence rate of hypokalemia including pseudoaldosteronism was around 80% with SKT administration for more than 30 days for patients exceeding 60 years old. It was suggested that patient age (>60 y) and dosing period of SKT (>30 days) might be risk factors for developing pseudoaldosteronism or hypokalemia as well as coadministration of drugs inducing hypokalemia.
  • Xi-Sha WANG, Wei YANG, Shu-Juan TAO, Karen LI, Ming LI, Jin-Hua DONG, ...
    原稿種別: Regular Article
    2006 年 126 巻 10 号 p. 979-990
    発行日: 2006/10/01
    公開日: 2006/10/01
    ジャーナル フリー
      This study was designed to investigate the apoptosis-inducing activity of δ-elemene on Hela cells in vitro. MTT assay and Hoechst 33258/PI fluorescence microscopy were used for this investigation. Apoptosis was further confirmed and quantified by DNA fragmentation ELISA, Annexin V (AnV) binding of externalized phosphatidylserine and the mitochondrial probe JC-1 using flow cytometry. Generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) was detected using CM-H2DCFDA. Western blots analysis was performed using antibodies against the pro-caspase-3, or PRAP (Poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase).The results showed that δ-elemene exhibited a marked antiproliferative effect on Hela cells in dose- and time-dependent manners, and had little inhibition to normal human liver cell line WRL-68. It was demonstrated that δ-elemene was capable of inducing DNA fragmentation in a dose- and time-dependent manner. AnV positivity and the disturbance of the polarized mitochondrial transmembrane potential (Δψm) suggested that δ-elemene induced apoptotic death of Hela cells. Western blot analysis demonstrated that δ-elemene activated the caspase-signaling pathway, leading to the proteolysis conversion of pro-caspase-3 to activate caspase-3, and the subsequent cleavage of the caspase substrate PARP. Further, it was noted that the apoptotic effect of δ-elemene could be attenuated by L-Glutathione (GSH) or z-DEVD-fmk. It suggested that the increase in ROS generation might be involved in the mechanism of δ-elemene induced cell apoptosis.
  • 田上 貴臣, 梶村 計志, 皐月 由香, 中村 暁彦, 起橋 雅浩, 北川 陽子, 高取 聡, 北川 幹也
    原稿種別: Regular Article
    2006 年 126 巻 10 号 p. 991-995
    発行日: 2006/10/01
    公開日: 2006/10/01
    ジャーナル フリー
      Many methods for the determination of pesticides residues in food have been reported. Although natural medicines should be confirmed as safe as food, only a few methods for the determination of pesticide residues in natural medicines have been reported. In this study, 10 pyrethroid pesticides were detected in natural medicines by GC/MS with negative chemical ionization (NCI). GC/MS with NCI can detect halogenated pesticides selectively, and thus is suitable for the detection of pyrethroid pesticides. This study indicates that GC/MS with NCI is useful for analyzing pyrethroid pesticides in natural medicines.
ノート
  • 木付 和幸, 大久保 隆一, 岩館 寛大, 貞 啓介
    2006 年 126 巻 10 号 p. 997-1001
    発行日: 2006/10/01
    公開日: 2006/10/01
    ジャーナル フリー
      Tissue kallikrein is expressed in many species and is widely distributed throughout the body, including the brain. In general, this protease is well known to release the vasoactive peptide, kinin, from kininogen. We report here that kallikrein has a prominent growth-stimulating effect on neural stem cells prepared from the brains of prenatal rats. This growth-stimulating effect was suppressed by antiserum against rat tissue kallikrein. Since bradykinin B2-receptor antagonist, Hoe140, did not suppress the growth-stimulating effect, kallikrein-mediated kinin release does not appear to be involved in this effect. Thus, our data suggest a new physiological function of kallikrein, the growth of neural stem cells. Such involvement would suggest that kallikrein is not only potentially involved in an important function of brain development, but also available for studies on regenerative medicine for neurons.
資料
  • 名徳 倫明, 岩本 千晶, 冨田 由美, 村山 洋子, 入潮 佳子, 中西 晶子, 下村 一徳, 井原 有紀, 塩石 知子, 乾 とし子, ...
    原稿種別: Article
    2006 年 126 巻 10 号 p. 1003-1010
    発行日: 2006/10/01
    公開日: 2006/10/01
    ジャーナル フリー
      At the Municipal Ikeda Hospital, a system in which pharmacists stationed in one ward pharmacy dispense drugs to be administered by injection and injectable preparations delivered to patients' bedsides was introduced in April 2000. This system was aimed at minimizing risks related to injections. Initially, however, on holidays, nurses played the roles of pharmacists in terms of the injections, and there were concerns over a possible rise in the incidence of errors (adverse events/near-misses) related to injections on these days compared with weekdays. Later, when planning to introduce a new holiday work system in the ward pharmacy, we took into account such factors as the number of pharmacists needed on holidays, their duties on holidays and the influence on weekday pharmacy activity of compensatory days-off taken by such pharmacists. In May 2004, the new holiday work system was introduced in the ward pharmacy. Under the new system, 5 pharmacists work at the ward pharmacy on holidays. After this system was put into operation, the number of injections dispensed at the ward pharmacy averaged 230 per day, and 177 per holiday. To evaluate the validity of this system, we recently conducted a questionnaire survey of nurses at our hospital. The survey involved 139 nurses. Of these nurses, 69.1% responded that the number of incidents (adverse events/near-misses) related to dispensing injections on holidays had decreased. Furthermore, 65.4% of the nurses reported a decrease in incidents related to the delivery and administration of injectable preparations. More than half of the nurses answered that the new system had made it easier for them to collect information on medicines and helped them provide better nursing services. When the nurses were asked to make a general assessment of the new system, 90% rated the system as “good.” The results of this survey indicate that keeping the ward pharmacy open on holidays contributes to the promotion of the proper use of medicines, reduction of risks related to injections and improvement in the quality of medical care.
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