Signs of an Opioid Overdose

  • Blue lips or nails
  • Very small pupils
  • Cold and clammy skin
  • Choking, gurgling or snoring sounds
  • Slow, weak, or no breathing
  • Difficulty walking, talking – confused
  • Can’t wake up, even when shaken
  • Vomit may be present

The 5 Steps to Responding to an Opioid Overdose

1) Shout and Shake

  • Confirm that your surroundings are safe
  • Put on the provided nitrile gloves
  • Shout their name and shake their shoulders

2) Call 911

  • If the person is unresponsive call 911
  • If you are able, direct a specific person to call for you

3) Give Naloxone

  • 1 spray into the nostril or 1 injection into the arm or leg
  • Pop the top off the vial
  • Push the tip of the needle into the rubber port
  • Keep the needle below the level of the liquid
  • Pull the plunger back to draw the liquid out
  • Remove air bubbles
  • Find the spot for the injection – three fingers down from the shoulder bone or the middle third of the thigh
  • Press the needle in all the way to the hilt
  • Press the plunger until it retracts into the barrel

Step 4 – Rescue Breathing and Chest Compressions

  • Tilt the person’s head back
  • With a gloved finger remove anything from their mouth
  • Use the rescue barrier mask – the plastic bit goes between their teeth
  • Give 3 breaths
  • Give 30 chest compressions
  • Repeat the breaths and compressions 3 more times

Step 5 – Is it working?

  • If necessary, repeat step 3 giving Naloxone and step 4 rescue breathing and chest compressions after 2 to 3 minutes
  • Stay with them until paramedics arrive

Recovery Position

  • When the person shows signs that they are improving put them in the recovery position
  • Lower arm extended
  • Upper arm under the chin supporting the head
  • Upper knee bent over to prevent them rolling on to their stomach
  • Head tilted slightly back to open up the airway
  • Make sure you are okay

Marchese Health Care is an independent community-based health care provider dedicated to the delivery of compassionate, client-focused care. We provide a wide variety of medication, supplies and equipment; clinical knowledge; and specialized services to meet your health and wellness needs.

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