3 EMS Models of Opiate Intervention

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Opiate users who suffer a non-fatal overdose are at the highest risk for having a fatal overdose. Many of these people are hard to reach by traditional substance use and health care professionals.  EMS can make a difference with this population. Whether the patient refuses further care and transport at the scene after being resuscitated […]

Don’t Use Alone

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61 people died of heroin overdoses in Hartford in 2016 (according to numbers released by the state Medical Examiner’s office on friday), up from 37 in 2015.  Based on the first six months of the year, the state estimated 888 people would die statewide, but when the final numbers came out last Friday, the number […]

Harm Reduction

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Two words people in EMS interested in battling the opiate overdose epidemic should know are “HARM REDUCTION.” According to the Harm Reduction Coalition, harm reduction is a set of practical strategies and ideas aimed at reducing negative consequences associated with drug use. Harm reduction “accepts, for better and or worse, that licit and illicit drug […]

Novel Vagal Maneuver

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I never had great luck with vagal maneuvers.  Admittedly when I was a new medic, I didn’t particularly want them to work.  I wanted to give Adenosine, and watch the strip suddenly go asystole and then some wild funky beats before correcting to a nice sinus tack in the 120’s, way better than the 200’s […]

Narcan 4mg IN

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I was a big initial fan of the intranasal atomizers both for pain management and opiate overdoses.  I liked them for pain management for their quick access.  I often gave an intranasal dose, and then after getting an IV, gave the rest IV.  Overtime I noticed quite a difference in response between the two methods. […]

Hear the Drumming

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Another three dead of heroin overdoses in Hartford in the last 16 hours.  The slaughter continues.  Hartford led the state in overdose deaths in 2015 with 56.  The 2016 numbers, which are not complete, are estimated to be in the high 70s.  Already there have been 5 known heroin deaths in 2016.   I recently […]

Neuro EMS

Check out the great post on Neuro EMS: 30 Seconds to Understanding Drug Addiction “EMS is at the forefront of emergency medicine therefore we should be at the forefront of shattering mental health stigma and providing compassionate, non-judgemental care.” Bravo!

Snowbank

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It is six in the morning and we get called for an overdose outside.  The address is not a surprise — a side street off Park.  Yet when we arrive, we find no one.  We are about to clear when a police officer who has also responded finds a backpack in the snow and sure […]

Happy

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I ask my patients who are addicted to heroin how they got started.  Many tell the same tale.  Injury.  Prescription for Percocet or Oxycontin.  They got addicted.  Prescription either went away or couldn’t keep up with their growing tolerance.  They started buying pills on the street.  Then they learned heroin was cheaper and worked even […]

Who Narcan Saves

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I was at a recent meeting of a statewide opiate overdose working group, composed of a wide variety of community stakeholders all committed to helping curb the crisis, when I heard one woman say our goal should be Narcan in every medicine cabinet. Certainly Narcan should be in the homes of any person with a […]

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