Recovering Resuscitation for Opiate Users

A terrific little video to help you get the recovery position firmly imprinted in the brain. So important not only for the obvious overdose but also really works for those overdoses that are almost overdoses;when the person who’s just used way too much or had a hit after drinking alcohol all day – whatever the reason -sometimes a persons breathing seems laboured and you don’t feel comfortable leaving them on their own -the recovery position is perfect to keep the airway open and the lungs unhindered. Sometimes this will be enough to stop someone descending into an overdose. These days first aid says to forget about mouth to mouth (rescue breaths) and go straight into CPR, or chest compressions (30 fast compressions in the space of 20seconds with several rescue breaths in-between). And certainly this might be the best idea rather than to try and ascertain if the person is still breathing and if they are, to do mouth to mouth. Just in case it is wrong. However, I am a firm believer in the power of mouth to mouth resuscitation for the opiate overdose, especially in those instances when the persons breathing in extremely laboured, and they are going blue from lack of oxygen. I hope the harm reduction/overdose prevention educators amongst us, dont throw the baby out with the bath water. Mouth to mouth should remain in the drug users arsenal of first aid, because it is invaluable to help people come back around when they are borderline overdosing. If we stop telling/teaching people how to use it, and to just go ahead with full CPR instead -vital minutes may be lost as people debate whether to use CPR for the – ‘they are still breathing but going blue’, opiate OD. Yes going straight into full CPR is the latest UK first aid advice – but is it the best advice for the drug using population? After all, we are talking about respiratory depression as the cause of our ODs – laboured, diminishing breathing, not heart attacks or sudden cardiac arrest, which is the usual culprit in society when someone stops breathing. So when the Red Cross (etc) need to provide a one size fits all advice for the public to use as first aid, they look at CPR as a catch all. For the opiate user however, I think we should ensure we hang on to mouth to mouth resuscitation, Ive used it many times – Ive seen it breath life into people who were struggling to breath but for whom CPR would have been inappropriate. Something to think about? I think so. But on with the recovery video -the position being an extremely useful tool for everyone from the ‘near OD struggling to breath’, to the ‘waiting for the ambulance after CPR’ OD. Thanks to Harm Reduction Works and the gang at Exchange Supplies for this video.

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1 Comment

  1. Lisa Black

     /  May 17, 2016

    I think this is very sound advice. I just wish I could send it to my friends email


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