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Thursday, May 6, 2021

Hospital to Offer Life-Saving Drug to Overdose Victims Through First Responders

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The Witham Hospital Board of Trustees has approved a measure to arm Boone County public safety officials with Narcan. Under its clinical name; Naloxone, Narcan is used to combat opiate drug overdoses most specifically a heroin overdose. “As a community focused health care provider our mission is to save lives and by providing our public safety experts with this product, which can reverse an overdose almost immediately, we’re taking a great step toward doing that”, says Witham Health Services CEO, Dr. Ray Ingham. Known by its brand name Narcan has been proven to dramatically cut accidental overdose deaths across the country. Witham will provide BooneCounty public safety officials free training on how to administer the aerosol form of the drug.  “Narcan is being ordered and training will begin soon”, says Witham EMS Director, John Merson. “The hospital has agreed to keep updated orders of the product in stock and we will monitor use of the Overdose Intervention Drug and establish protocols to make sure it’s being used effectively and properly”, stated Merson.

First responders will be required to complete a trip record that is submitted to the Medical Director indicating the administration of naloxone, the patient’s disposition, the transporting agency, and the receiving facility. It will also ensure proper storage, shelf-life, disposal, and replacement of the drug.

Narcan is also used to treat overdoses from other opioids such as tramadol, oxycodone, hydrocodone and codeine. It’s estimated it could save some 20-thousnd lives annually across the country. Public safety officials in BooneCounty have stated that Heroin abuse is at an “epidemic” level. “That’s why we’re more than willing to provide the training and medicine at no cost”, stated Ingham.

In another effort to protect BooneCounty public safety officials Witham Health Services has also agreed to provide free annual vaccinations to all police and firefighters. “Our goal is to keep first responders as safe and as healthy as possible especially when they’re doing their job and our new vaccination program is one way to do that”, said Witham Vice President and Medical Officer, Dr. John Horvath

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