Red Cross shares commitment to help address this crisis and save lives at White House opioids event
Washington, D.C., October 24, 2018 — The American Red Cross has released First Aid for Opioid Overdoses - an online course to teach people how to respond to a known or suspected opioid overdose.
“Drug overdose is the leading cause of accidental death in the United States and opioids are the number one cause of these deaths,” said Nathan P. Charlton, MD, FACMT, FACEP, member of the Red Cross Scientific Advisory Council, medical toxicologist and emergency physician at the University of Virginia Health System. “When you suspect an opioid overdose, it’s important to provide care right away. Knowing what to do can save someone’s life.”
The 45-minute First Aid for Opioid Overdoses online 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.
“The Red Cross sees opioid overdoses as a public health crisis,” said Jack McMaster, president of American Red Cross Training Services. “We developed a simple, straightforward training to educate the public on steps they can take to save lives.”
People can register for 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.
Red Cross has also prepared guidance on opioid use and overdose response for those working in the organization’s 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.
McMaster had the opportunity to share the organization’s commitment and efforts to help address this crisis and save lives at the recent White House opioids event. Learn more about the event, and the involvement of the Red Cross here: https://www.whitehouse.gov/articles/year-historic-action-combat-opioid-crisis/