Every day nearly 200 people die from an overdose of drugs or from alcohol poisoning, with opioids responsible for the majority. Recognizing the signs and knowing how to respond to medical emergencies, including carrying and administering naloxone in cases of opioid overdose, can literally save lives. Here are tips from the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) on what to do in case of a suspected overdose.
(BPT) - Every day nearly 200 people die from an overdose of drugs or from alcohol poisoning, with opioids responsible for the majority. Recognizing the signs and knowing how to respond to medical emergencies, including carrying and administering naloxone in cases of opioid overdose, can save lives, says the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA).
“The tragic increase in overdose deaths is an alarming and devastating issue that touches so many of us,” said ASA President Mary Dale Peterson, M.D., MSHCA, FACHE, FASA. “If you can identify an overdose or alcohol poisoning, you are more likely to react quickly, making the difference between life and death for a family member, friend or stranger.”
Physician anesthesiologists have a critical role in fighting against overdoses, starting with managing patients’ pain after surgery or chronic pain in responsible ways. During Physician Anesthesiologists Week, Jan. 26-Feb. 1, ASA is joining forces with U.S. Surgeon General VADM, Jerome Adams, M.D., M.P.H., to empower everyone to recognize the following signs of an overdose or alcohol poisoning:
Any one of these signs should prompt a call to 911 for emergency medical care. Never leave an unconscious person alone, as they may be at risk of dying, including by choking on his or her own vomit. If an opioid overdose is suspected, naloxone should be administered immediately, if available. Naloxone is administered by injection or nasal spray and access to it is expanding on a state-by-state basis. It can be prescribed by a physician and often is carried by police officers and emergency medical responders. Additionally, it’s increasingly available over the counter at some pharmacies.
“To stem the tide of the opioid overdose epidemic, we need everyone to consider themselves a first responder. We need to encourage everyone in our communities to carry naloxone and know how to use it,” said U.S. Surgeon General, VADM, Jerome M. Adams, M.D., M.P.H., a physician anesthesiologist who issued a Surgeon’s General’s advisory in 2018 calling for increased awareness and use of the medication. “When on hand, naloxone may mean the difference between life and death, and can be a first step to getting someone onto the pathway of recovery.”
Anyone who takes opioids to manage their pain may be at-risk for an overdose. In recent years, opioids were the go-to pain reliever for everything from backaches and injuries to post-surgical and chronic pain. In 2017, more than 190 million prescriptions were written for opioids. While they can be effective for short-term pain, chronic use can lead to abuse. Every day 130 people die from opioid overdoses, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“ASA strongly agrees with the Surgeon General and supports policies that promote access to naloxone and safe and effective pain management care,” said Dr. Peterson. “All of our members have a significant interest in reducing misuse, abuse and diversion of opioids that have led to unintended deaths.”
To learn more about the critical role physician anesthesiologists play before, during and after surgery, visit asahq.org/WhenSecondsCount. ASA also offers an opioid overdose resuscitation guide that provides guidance on symptoms of an overdose and how to help.
A spinal cord injury can be very serious and can have a significant impact on your life. In order for your body to heal properly, it’s important to give it the rest it needs. If you experience this type of injury, there are a few different things you can do to speed up the healing process, but you should proceed with caution. If you’re not careful, you could exacerbate the injury. Here are a few safe treatment options you should consider if you want to heal more quickly.
According to the Robert Pahlke Law Group, after a spinal cord injury, it’s important to talk to your doctor or physical therapist about the different options you have for recovery and modifications you might need to make to your lifestyle. Chiropractic care is something that is frequently used for many different kinds of injuries but can be especially helpful for your spine health. Chiropractors specialize in spine health and can get your body back into alignment. This is a natural way to help relieve some of the pain that you’re experiencing, speed up recovery, and help you prevent future injuries from occurring
There are a number of specialized techniques that a physical therapist will use when you are coming to them with a spinal cord injury. In general, you will start out with some simple and light activities and workouts. You could start with something basic and low-impact, such as stretching. Your physical therapy plan of action will change incrementally as you start to heal. However, it’s important to not do too much too quickly, as you can easily injure yourself further if you’re not careful. Your therapist will help you work your way back up to a normal level of activity.
Acupuncture is an alternative therapy that has been performed as part of the Chinese culture for a very long time. It can be used for a spinal cord injury to regenerate neurons. According to Flint Rehab, it can also promote healing within the body, which can result in increased motor function after your spinal cord injury. After a spinal cord injury, it’s common for many to people experience a deterioration in motor function. Acupuncture can help prevent this from occurring.
Of course, you should always speak to your doctor before you use any kind of complementary therapies for your spinal cord injury. You want to ensure that you’re not going to do more damage to your body. As long as your doctor signs off on chiropractic care, physical therapy, and acupuncture, you can use those treatments as tools to speed your healing.
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