Nocebo Effect

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While headlines of deadly Fentanyl creating Haz Mat scenes and causing first responders to be hospitalized continue to dominate the news, on July 10, 2017 with little fanfare, the US Institute for Occupational Health and Safety removed the statement “skin absorption can be deadly” from its Fentanyl page. You can read their safety recommendations here: […]

Couples

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The call is for a possible overdose.  A tall attractive young woman in leopard skin pants, and a Ginger from Gilligan’s Island hairdo, meets us at the apartment door.  She is high. Her balance as she sways in front of us is so bad it is making me dizzy just looking at her. “Thank you […]

An Offer Hard to Refuse: Heroin Math 1 (Pills to Mainlining)

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Thesis: People addicted to prescription painkillers who buy their pills on the black market switch to heroin because it is a better economic deal (cheaper and stronger). The Situation: When a person’s painkiller prescription runs out or their tolerance outruns their prescription, and the user still needs opioids to keep from being sick, the user […]

Fact or Fiction

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Great article on ems1.com Medical commentary on the issue of danger to first responders of transdermal fentanyl exposure. Dr. Tan, discussing transdermal fentanyl exposure, agrees that exposure as would be typically encountered by first responders is an extremely low risk. “It is not zero risk and certainly not impossible, but extremely low,” he said. Fact or […]

Falsehood Flies

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“Falsehood flies, and truth comes limping after it, so that when men come to be undeceived, it is too late; the jest is over, and the tale hath had its effect.” – Jonathan Swift This quote came to me from a respected toxicologist after reading some news accounts of public safety response to possible fentanyl […]

10 Year Old Boy

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Jeanmarie Perrone MD, an emergency physician and medical toxicologist, answers questions from a reporter about the death of a 10-year- old boy in Miami and the dangers of fentanyl exposure.  Hers is a voice of reason in an understandable climate of hysteria. Miami Boy’s Death Shows Powerful Opioid’s Chilling Potential The case is tragic.  A […]

Fentanyl Exposure: The Toxicologist’s Take

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The American College of Medical Toxicology and the American Academy of Clinical Toxicology have issued a joint statement on Preventing Occupational Fentanyl and Fentanyl Analog Exposure to First Responders that states “the risk of clinically significant exposure to emergency responders is extremely low.” The statement addresses reports of responders suffering overdose from handling or being in proximity to […]

A Mother and Son

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The woman with the cellphone stands outside the car. She explains that the male in the car has been smoking crack, taking benzos and doing heroin for several days. I ask if he is breathing. She says yes, but he is asleep right now. When she picked him at his friend’s house in their suburban town […]

Fentanyl Skin Exposure: An MD’s View

A story published in Slate magazine yesterday questions the assumptions behind the widely reported episode of the Ohio police officer who required four doses of Naloxone after brushing Fentanyl off his shirt. The Viral Story About the Cop Who Overdosed by Touching Fentanyl Is Nonsense Written by Jeremy Samuel Faust, an emergency physician at Boston’s Brigham […]

Fentanyl: A Briefing Guide for First Responders

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Carfentanil (which had previously been seen in neighboring states) has now been officially identified in Connecticut.  The discovery of this drug 100 times stronger than Fentanyl poses questions: How much danger does Carfentanil (or Fentanyl for that matter) pose to EMS?  How can we in EMS protect ourselves from exposure to these drugs? What should […]

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