Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, opioid-related overdoses are on the rise. Between January-March 2020, more than 4,560 suspected opioid overdoses occurred in Canada and 1,067 required hospitalization due to poisoning.
For many of our communities, the number of overdoses are increasing each day, and some are not even reported. To address these concerns and exemplify Paladin’s commitment to industry-leading training, Client Service Manager, Burton Colter, spearheaded a naloxone training program for our team in Brandon, Manitoba.
What is Naloxone?
Naloxone is a medication that is an opioid antagonist. In other words, it blocks the effects of opioids, such as heroin, fentanyl, oxycodone, and hydrocodone. It is available in injectable and nasal spray formulations. When administered, Naloxone quickly reverses the effects of opioids, restores normal breathing, and because it lasts between 20 and 90 minutes, it can provide the extra time needed for emergency services to arrive and provide further patient care.
Naloxone Training with Manitoba Harm Reduction Networking
Burton arranged naloxone training for our team members in Brandon in cooperation with the Manitoba Harm Reduction Network (MHRN). The MHRN focuses on harm reduction, community building, access, and the inclusion of people who have had an impact made on them through substance abuse.
Two different training sessions were held on October 9th and October 23rd. Not only did the MHRN donate the training to our teams, but they also provided two naloxone kits to be used at our client locations. In addition to the hands-on training, all attending security officers were required to complete (or review) the “Responding to Opioid Overdoses” course as part of Paladin’s internal training prior to the sessions.
Best Practices for Treating Opioid Overdoses
After administering naloxone, you must help orient the patient. Best practices, as confirmed by Jason Potter, Deputy Chief at Brandon Fire and Emergency Services, are the following:
- Standard “Foot Tap”
- Shake and Yell – “HEY, ARE YOU OKAY?” (Repeat)
- Trapezius Pinch (with your fingers, squeeze the muscle between the shoulder and neck hard)
- Sternum Rub (last resort)
Future Training Opportunities
With opioid overdoses on the rise in Brandon, MB, Deputy Chief Jason Potter expressed great enthusiasm for Burton and his team’s deployment of naloxone training. He also praised the work of organizations like the Harm Reduction Network and the Westman Family of Addicts for training and deploying naloxone in the community.
Our team’s initial training was focusing on sites that are higher risk, however, with the success of these sessions, we are looking making this training more readily available across the City.
We are proud of our Paladin Family in Brandon, Manitoba for stepping up to equip themselves with the necessary training to help make the world, and their community, a safer and friendlier place!
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Paladin utilizes Naloxone, in partnership with our clients, at hundreds of other sites across the country.
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