September 23, 2017

** New Brunswick paramedics using Narcan on patients more often

** California ambulance crashes after driver falls asleep at the wheel

CANADA NEWS

** Naloxone use by New Brunswick paramedics is surging, with new data saying practitioners administered the drug to patients 77 times between January and March 2017. That is the word from CBC New Brunswick (May 10) which said the figure is a 222 per cent hike over the same period in 2016. According to the news site, Ambulance New Brunswick manager of training and quality assurance Eric Beairsto said the increase does not, however, correlate with medics seeing more drug overdose patients. Beairsto said rather it reflects the ambulance service’s new policy of encouraging providers to administer Narcan when necessary. Beairsto said previously medics may have hesitated if they found no drug paraphernalia at the scene. Ambulance New Brunswick switched its policy last fall after several opioid overdoses in the province. Dosing amounts have also changed due to new more powerful drugs hitting the streets. Since the beginning of the year, 4 people have died from drug overdoses in the province.

UNITED STATES NEWS

** A California paramedic from San Diego sustained minor injuries Wednesday after the ambulance he was riding in crashed when his partner fell asleep at the wheel. KGTV (May 10) said the EMS unit was transporting a dialysis patient to Kaiser Permanente hospital around 4 a.m. when the accident happened. According to the news site, neither the rig’s driver nor the strapped-in patient were injured in the Grantville mishap. The ambulance, meanwhile, hit a curb and rolled onto its side. There is no word on whether or not any charges are pending against the driver.

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