Red Cross Launches Online First Aid Course for Opioid Overdoses

September 22, 2018. Fayetteville, North Carolina. During the Saturday morning meeting in Fayetteville Headquarters, Julian Delgado with Health Services explains to volunteers the process of properly administering Narcan to clients who may be need it in shelters. This is the first year Red Cross shelters are arming staff and volunteers with Narcan to ensure that everyone stays safe. Photo by Daniel Cima/American Red Cross

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.
https://www.redcross.org/take-a-class/opioidoverdose
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.

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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.

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