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PA30325: Specialised integrated unit 6: special patient groups and surgery

[Page last updated: 05 August 2021]

Academic Year: 2021/2
Owning Department/School: Department of Pharmacy & Pharmacology
Credits: 12 [equivalent to 24 CATS credits]
Notional Study Hours: 240
Level: Honours (FHEQ level 6)
Semester 1
Assessment Summary: CW 50%, EX 50%
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Detail:
  • Assessment detail data for this unit is currently being updated as a change has been approved. Updated assessment information will be published here shortly.
Supplementary Assessment:
Like-for-like reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)
Requisites: While taking this module you must take PA30324 AND take PA30326 AND take PA30327 AND take PA30328
Description: Aims:
To provide a comprehensive, integrated understanding of the medicinal chemistry, pharmacology, pharmaceutics and clinical pharmacy required to treat special patient groups including pregnant and breast-feeding women, premature and paediatrics, the elderly, obese, those with renal impairment, and patients undergoing surgery.
To provide a comprehensive, integrated understanding of the design and development of medicines, their pharmacological actions in the body and the evidence-based approach to treatment of patients with the aim of promoting safe and effective outcomes in special patient groups and those undergoing surgery.

Learning Outcomes:
After successfully completing this unit, the student pharmacist will be able to:
1. Explain the effect that physiological and developmental changes have on the handling (including ADME) of medicines and on the pharmacological responses in special patient groups.
2. Describe the key aspects of disease monitoring in special patient groups.
3. Explain the disease and patient factors that are influenced before, during and after surgery
4. Evaluate the evidence base for management of pre, peri and post- operative care.
5. Explain the use of unlicensed and licensed medicines off-label in each of the special patient groups.
6. Evaluate the medicines management issues in each of these patient groups
7. Identify and evaluate evidence-based approaches for the management of special patient groups and patients undergoing surgery.
8. Describe the role of the pharmacist in prescribing, administering and monitoring medication for special patient groups and those undergoing a surgical procedure
9. Make appropriate clinical decisions in support of special patient groups.
10. Apply complex structured consultation skills to the conditions studied in this unit

Scientific and practical skills (T/F/A)
Study skills, handling information, working with others (T/F)
Problem solving (T/F/A)
Study skills (T/F)
Handling information (T/F/A)
Written communication (T/F/A)
Scientific & practical skills (T/F/A)
Information & communication technology (ICT) (T/F)

Content to include:
* Clinical introduction and overview of therapeutic area - Problem-based learning case based on the surgical journey of a patient
* Pharmaceutics theme
- Dose adjustment in special groups
- Pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics in special patient groups
- Age (paediatric and elderly) appropriate formulations
- Enteral and Parenteral nutrition
* Medicinal chemistry and drug design theme
- Drug design and drug synthesis - short lecture series
* Clinical therapeutics and pharmacology theme
- Licensing and unlicensed use of medicines
- Renal Pathology
- Acute kidney injury and chronic kidney disease
- Dialysis
- Physiology of pregnancy, child birth and lactation
- Drugs in pregnancy and breastfeeding. Drug distribution across placenta and to breastmilk
- Treatment of pre-eclampsia
- Prescribing for neonates and paediatrics including dose adjustment and calculations
- Common childhood diseases including metabolic syndromes
- Prescribing for, and pharmaceutical care of, the elderly
- Medicines in surgery (pre, peri and post-op_
- Anaesthetics - local, general and neuromuscular blockers
- Imaging, x-rays, MRI and PET scanning, contrast media
- Clinical decision-making in special patient groups
* Simulation and practice-based learning in special patient groups

Programme availability:

PA30325 is a Designated Essential Unit on the following programmes:

Department of Pharmacy & Pharmacology
  • USPA-AFM03 : MPharm(Hons) Pharmacy (Year 3)
  • USPA-AKM03 : MPharm(Hons) Pharmacy with integrated pre-registration year (Year 3)


  • This unit catalogue is applicable for the 2021/22 academic year only. Students continuing their studies into 2022/23 and beyond should not assume that this unit will be available in future years in the format displayed here for 2021/22.
  • Programmes and units are subject to change in accordance with normal University procedures.
  • Availability of units will be subject to constraints such as staff availability, minimum and maximum group sizes, and timetabling factors as well as a student's ability to meet any pre-requisite rules.
  • Find out more about these and other important University terms and conditions here.