The Staten Island Heart Society announced that beginning January 2019, they have added naloxone training and the dispensing of naloxone kits to all of its CPR trainings and AED donations. The trainings are being sponsored by a grant from Staten Island Performing Provider System (SI PPS). “Staten Island Performing Provider System is leading the charge in helping to battle the opioid crisis on Staten Island and throughout our nation. Dr. Joseph Conte, Executive Director of SI PPS and his team have worked diligently to develop a borough-wide strategy by leveraging data to support new initiatives to battle this epidemic. They have worked with both clinical and non-clinical partners to apply resources and measures that will have the biggest impact on saving lives. We could think of no better partner on Staten Island to launch this initiative,” said Rachel Volpe, R.N, Director of the Staten Island Heart Society.

Deaths by overdose on Staten Island were 116 in 2016, 105 in 2017 and 98 in 2018 as reported by SI PPS on the new Drug Prevention Portal (www.sidrugprevention.nyc).

A person who is not breathing, whether it be from an overdose or otherwise, is not getting oxygen to their brain. The longer that goes on, the less likely they are to recover. Chest compressions done with CPR help maintain blood flow and oxygen to the brain. If the lack of breathing is from an overdose, compressions will help the naloxone travel through the person’s circulatory system.  If a person is not breathing,

  1. CPR must be started immediately, especially since naloxone can take up to a few minutes to work
  2. In that time, activate EMS
  3. Start chest compressions as part of CPR protocol
  4. Use an AED (Automated External defibrillator) to increase the person’s chance of survival
  5. After overdose, a person must be connected to clinical and non-clinical services for recovery from substance use disorder (SUD)

It is very important to note that in the CPR protocol, activating EMS should be the first step after determining that a person is unresponsive and needs help. Naloxone can help save a person’s life after overdose. Providing naloxone without connection to clinical and non-clinical services will not help that person recover from substance abuse. SI PPS and other community partners are always available to provide treatment and other recovery resources.

“If we don’t save them first, we can’t help them at all,” said Rachel Volpe. “That is why the addition of naloxone to CPR is another way we can help save lives.”

In addition to providing naloxone kits with the AEDs that the Heart Society donates moving forward, they are committed to training and providing naloxone kits to all the organizations who have already received AEDs. They will be reaching out to these organizations for training and the distribution of kits. If your organization has already received an AED from the Heart Society, please contact them regarding the Naloxone Initiative.

You can read more here.