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 […]

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. […]

New Brands

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I called a meeting of the heroin dealers of Hartford at the pavilion in Pope Park. I had no authority to call the meeting since I am neither a heroin dealer nor affiliated with anyone who is.  I just felt like things had hit a critical point where something had to be said.  I admit […]

Empty Wallets

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EMS responders go through more wallets than pickpockets.  Unresponsive person in an alley.  We need to ID them.  Check for a wallet.  Dead person in a hotel.  Got a wallet.  Unresponsive in car.  Check his pockets.  You are looking for the driver’s license, but you can’t help but notice how much cash they are carrying […]

EMS Stroke Care

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Stroke Care should follow your local medical direction and treatment guidelines.  Here’s how we do it in North Central Connecticut. EMS Role When Emergency Medical Services (EMS) recognizes stroke in the field, and notifies the hospital either by radio patch or transmission, the hospital stroke team can be activated prior to the patient’s arrival. With […]

Hello, Kitty

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Many years ago, the R.J Reynolds tobacco company got into trouble with its Joe Camel campaign, which featured a cool cartoon camel in human clothing who like to smoke.  The ad campaign was controversial because it seemed to target kids.  The American Medical Association tried to get the company to shut down Joe Camel after […]

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 […]

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