The American Red Cross (AMC) has launched First Aid for Opioid Overdoses, an online course to teach people how to respond to a known or suspected opioid overdose.
“An opioid overdose is a life-threatening emergency,” said John Duck, executive director for the U.S. Virgin Islands. “When you suspect an opioid overdose, it’s important to start providing care immediately.”
The 45-minute course contains content on how to identify the signs and symptoms of a suspected opioid overdose and the appropriate care to provide based on the responsiveness of the person. Information on how to use several different naloxone products – including a nasal atomizer, Narcan® Nasal Spray and EVZIO® – to temporarily reverse the effects of an opioid overdose is also included.
People can register and access the course at https://www.redcross.org/take-a-class/opioidoverdose. Because an opioid overdose can lead to cardiac arrest, people are also encouraged to take a Red Cross CPR/AED course.
Recently, AMC had the opportunity to share its commitment and efforts to help address this public health crisis at a White House opioids event. Learn more about the event, and the involvement of the ARC: https://www.whitehouse.gov/articles/year-historic-action-combat-opioid-crisis/
ARC has also prepared guidance on opioid use and overdose response for those working in the its shelters during disasters. Recently, these efforts empowered a Red Cross volunteer to help save the life of a person in a shelter during Hurricane Florence.