Author Archives: medicscribe

High Risk

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The dispatch is for an unresponsive overdose, likely fatality.  We are coming from a fair distance, but we are the only unit available.  There no updates.  No PD dispatcher asking if we are a medic unit or the message that CPR is in progress.  PD and fire have beaten us to the scene, but as […]

New CDC Report: Characteristics of Fentanyl Overdoses

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Yesterday the CDC released a fascinating new report, Characteristics of Fentanyl Overdose — Massachusetts, 2014–2016. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health, the state’s Medical Examiner’s Office and the CDC gathered 20 heroin users from three counties (Barnstable, Bristol, Plymouth) with high fentanyl overdose death rates (Two-thirds of overdose deaths were attributed to fentanyl) and interviewed […]

Killing Time

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A new legal strategy is to charge drug dealers with homicide when one of their customers fatally overdoses and it can be proven the customer bought the fatal drug from the dealer. In Rhode Island this week a 25-year-old dealer was convicted of selling $40 worth of “Diesel” to to a 29-year-old customer who died 4 […]

Fountain

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In Connecticut we are in the midst of hospital wars.  It is a very competitive market and all of the hospitals fight to attract patients.  You can see it on the billboards that line Interstates 91 and 84 with hospitals proclaiming themselves the best at heart care, stroke, trauma care or declaring they are the […]

Narrative

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  Upon arrival found a 22 Y/O female unresponsive lying on the floor of her bedroom with her father performing CPR on her. He states that he last saw her alive a hour ago and then found her on the floor unconscious before calling 911. He states she has a history of heroin abuse and there is a used […]

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. […]

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