I get to know some interesting facts from my pharmacist colleague few days back, regarding how drugs or medicine were dispensed in the early days (in the early 70's) when she just started her career as pharmacist in hospital. During those days, empty containers or bottles for cream/ointment or solutions/syrup/liquid prescription were not available or supplied by the pharmacy in hospital. Patients had to bring their own containers.
1. Cream and Ointment will be placed on banana leaves and wrapped up or folded prior to dispensed to patients.
2. For solutions/liquid/syrups (eg cough syrups), patients had to buy empty bottle containers from the nearby shop (eg. those empty coca cola or F&N bottles) and placed the empty bottles at the dispensary counter for the pharmacist to pour in the solution/liquid/syrup.
3. The most interesting one is regarding eye drops. I can't imagine and can't believe this actually happened in the past. The solution for eye drops was poured inside the empty bottles bought from the nearby shop (and sometimes those patients will buy big bottle for just few mls of eye drops as small bottles were not available). Flexible plastic dropper bottles are not available in the past. And here comes the most interesting part - regarding how the eye drops are instilled or applied to the eyes ...
What the patients used to instill or to apply the eye drops? (Forget about the eye drop droppers which were not available during those days).
Wanna make a wild guess ?
Straws !! Those drinking straws !!!!!
Patients used those drinking straws to draw the eye drops from the bottle and to instill the eye drop to their eyes !!
I really get a shock. Can u imagine that ? Forget about sterility and hygiene.... I wonder what was the rate of infection during those days..
These are some of the PRICELESS info I gathered from my colleague.
Consider ourselves blessed with the advancement in medical practice and health care. And never take things for granted :)