Letting First Responders Use Higher Doses of Narcan to Fight Opiate Overdoses
Bipartisan move to give paramedics, firefighters more flexibility in type and dosage of opioid antidotes.
New Jersey is considering updates to a law designed to protect emergency responders who administer life-saving opioid antidotes in order to address a growing and painful truth: preventing overdoses with today’s more powerful drugs requires increasingly robust strategies.
The Senate health committee unanimously approved a bipartisan bill that would give paramedics, firefighters, and other first responders more flexibility in the type and number of doses they can use when administering naloxone, which can reverse an opioid overdose. The measure, which cleared the Assembly in March, awaits final passage in the full Senate.
Opioid Addiction Treatments Face Off in US Trial
The first U.S. study to compare two treatments for opioid addiction finds a monthly shot works as well as a daily drug to prevent relapse.
The shot requires days of detox first and that proved to be a stumbling block for many. For those who made it past that hurdle, the shot Vivitrol worked about the same as an older treatment, Suboxone.
Both drugs had high relapse rates and there were overdoses, including fatal ones, in the experiment in 570 adults. The study , published Tuesday in the journal Lancet, is the first to compare the two drugs in the United States, where an opioid addiction epidemic has doctors and policymakers deeply divided over treatment strategies.
Many addiction treatment programs don't offer either medication, or only one of them.
Study Suggests Women Less Likely to Get CPR From Bystanders
Women are less likely than men to get CPR from a bystander and more likely to die, a new study suggests, and researchers think reluctance to touch a woman's chest might be one reason.
Only 39 percent of women suffering cardiac arrest in a public place were given CPR versus 45 percent of men, and men were 23 percent more likely to survive, the study found.
It involved nearly 20,000 cases around the country and is the first to examine gender differences in receiving heart help from the public versus professional responders.
"It can be kind of daunting thinking about pushing hard and fast on the center of a woman's chest" and some people may fear they are hurting her, said Audrey Blewer, a University of Pennsylvania researcher who led the study.
Rescuers also may worry about moving a woman's clothing to get better access, or touching breasts to do CPR, but doing it properly "shouldn't entail that," said another study leader, U Penn's Dr. Benjamin Abella. "You put your hands on the sternum, which is the middle of the chest. In theory, you're touching in between the breasts."
Get Ahead of Stroke Campaign Debuts App to Help EMS Assess Stroke Severity
The Get Ahead of Stroke campaign has debuted an app to help EMS first responders transport and triage patients quickly to stroke centers equipped to treat severe strokes.
Called Stroke Scales for EMS, the app is designed to assist first responders in assessing stroke severity in emergency situations and, in cases of severe stroke, transport patients to neuroendovascular-ready stroke facilities.
“Stroke is a leading cause of death and disability nationwide. This app will help first responders quickly and accurately identify cases of severe stroke so they can transport patients to appropriate treatment right away,” said Dr. Blaise Baxter, a neurointerventional radiologist and the President of the Society of NeuroInterventional Surgery.
To determine how to properly triage a patient experiencing a stroke, first responders and emergency personnel can use the app to assess the severity of the stroke through one of several “stroke scales.” These scales measure certain physical indicators that can point to a patient having a large vessel occlusion, including the ability to squeeze and release a hand, control eye movement, make facial expressions, feel a pin prick and more. Based on results from the stroke scale, the app recommends the type of facility where a stroke patient can receive appropriate treatment.
The app is available for download on the iOS App Store and Google Play.