OPIOID OVERDOSE RECOGNITION AND RESPONSE GUIDELINES – NALOXONE USE

PURPOSE

To respond to a possible opioid overdose at West Vancouver Schools.

SCOPE

These guidelines and procedure apply to West Vancouver Schools staff who have been trained by the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority to recognize and respond to signs of student opioid overdose during school sponsored events on school sites.

DEFINITIONS

Naloxone: An antidote to an opioid overdose. Naloxone can restore breathing following an opioid overdose and can be given by injection or intranasally. Naloxone is unscheduled in British Columbia meaning emergency use naloxone can be sold anywhere (including outside pharmacies) and purchased by anyone. Under BC law, anyone is able to administer naloxone in an emergency situation outside of a hospital setting.

Opioid: A class of drug, sometimes called opiates. Includes drugs derived from the poppy such as morphine, heroin and codeine (‘opiates’) as well as synthetic or partially synthetic formulas such as oxycodone, methadone, fentanyl. Opioids are often used to treat pain.

Opioid Overdose: An acute life threatening condition caused by the use of too much opioids. Opioids can slow or stop a person’s breathing.

School Administrator: The individual in charge of the daily operations of a school.

Staff: Any employee or volunteer at the organization

Trained Overdose Responder: Any employee of the organization who has completed training in Overdose Prevention, Recognition and Response, including administration of naloxone.

  1. Minimum Standard
    1. If a school reports concerns that students are in a high risk category of using opioids or if there have been reports of opioid use on school property. An identified staff (voluntary) can be trained to identify opioid overdose, and respond by doing rescue breathing and phoning 911.
    2. In addition, staff trained in naloxone administration may choose to give naloxone in addition to rescue breathing and calling 911, depending on the circumstances and their comfort level. Naloxone kits will be made available through Student Support Services, by permission of the Assistant Superintendent.
    3. Students who have self-identified with significant drug use histories or concerns should be referred to Vancouver Coastal Health for support.
  2. Education and Training
    1. Initial Training of Staff
        1. Training for identified staff will include
          1. Overdose Recognition
          2. Overdose Response without naloxone (rescue breathing and 911)
          3. Overdose Response with naloxone as per this guideline and procedure
        2. Training for staff will be provided by Vancouver Coastal Health.
    2. School sites that continue to identify a need will be required to attend annual refresher training provided by Vancouver Coastal Health Authority.
  3. Overdose Response Supplies
    1. Naloxone kits should be stored with other emergency medical supplies for easy access when required.
    2. School administration is responsible for confirming available supplies, monitoring expiry dates and ensuring unused medication that expires will be disposed of at a pharmacy.
  4. Overdose Response
    1. Process: The Protocol for overdose response (both with and without naloxone) is found in Appendix 1. Staff will not be requested to leave their school site to respond to overdoses.
    2. Documentation of Overdose Response and Naloxone Administration:
      All staff who respond to an overdose will submit a critical incident summary to the school administrator and the administrator of Student Support Services.
    3. Staff have been advised and understand that there may be some health and safety issues involved in responding to overdose. Some overdoses involve drug use and handling syringes require following a health and safety protocol. If there are drugs on site they also must be handled carefully (gloves required). Finally some individuals may be violent and angry upon revival via opioid inhibitor. Staff should be prepared to de-escalate these situations.
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