Because of the fentanyl problem in the province Emergency medical technicians and Emergency medical responders can now administer Narcan, an opiate antidote.
Chris Bassil a paramedic and clinical educator with AHS says that while it’s new for EMT’s and EMR’s one group has been doing it for a long time.
“Paramedics have been giving Narcan in the field forever,” says Bassil. “But, it is definitely new for EMT’s and EMR’s. In our learning development department, we also had to develop protocols for EMT’s and EMR’s to deliver Narcan as well.”
Bassil explains why overdose rates are so high with the drug.
“There’s no regulation whatsoever, so they don’t know how much of the drug they’re getting in the little, tiny tab,” says Bassil. “And W-18, that’s even stronger than fentanyl at an even lesser amount. That one is on the rise, and that’s even scarier.”
Bassil also adds that this isn’t just an Edmonton or Calgary problem.
“The big thing with this, is that it isn’t just a city drug anymore,” explains Bassil. “They’re finding it in rurals, and they’re finding it in every nook and cranny because it’s such a problem.”
Bassil says that along with those guidelines, they’ve also developed a training simulation where responders will have to administer Narcan to someone overdosing on Fentanyl. (km/bg)