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Kamloops firefighters to begin administering drug overdose antidote

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June 28, 2016 - 3:34 PM

KAMLOOPS - Kamloops firefighters are being handed a life-saving tool at a time when overdose deaths are soaring across the province. 

Starting July 1, Kamloops Fire Rescue will have the ability to administer Naloxone, an antidote to opioid overdoses including those caused by fentanyl.
Administering Naloxone can prevent death and disability by reversing an opioid overdose, Kamloops Deputy Fire Chief Mike Adams says in a news release.

“Kamloops Fire Rescue firefighters are trained to recognize opiate overdose and respond appropriately. This response includes performing rescue breathing with bag valve mask ventilations and oral airway placement, placing the patient in the recovery position and administering Naloxone. These skills can keep someone alive until a higher level of care arrives,” Adams says.

Opioid overdose can slow or stop breathing. Naloxone reverses the effects of opioid overdose, restoring normal breathing and consciousness. Administering Naloxone can prevent death or brain damage from lack of oxygen during an opioid overdose, Adams says in the release.

There were 308 deaths linked to illicit drug overdoses between January and May 2016 across B.C. — up 75 per cent over the same period last year when there were 176 deaths. 

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