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Katrina Journal: What’s Important

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In view of Hurricane Harvey and the rescue efforts now underway, I am posting notes from my journal when I was posted in Gulfport, Mississippi in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Day One: Waiting On the morning of September 17, we meet at the office and a chair van driver takes us up to the […]

Multiple Naloxone Administrations

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One of the main reasons opioid overdose deaths have been increasing is the rise of fentanyl sold either combined with heroin or in place of heroin.  Fentanyl, which is 50 times stronger than heroin, has a stronger affinity for the opioid receptors in the brain than heroin.  Toxicologists have said that while naloxone is still […]

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 […]

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: 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 […]

Narcan Man

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In troubled times in the metropolis, the unexpected rise up and battle the evils that enslave civilizations.  Today, such a tale is playing out on the streets of Hartford.  Behold…Narcan Man! Few of us were paying attention when it started to happen.  We get called for a overdose at the bus stop, possibly not breathing. […]

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