A life-saving nasal spray is being rolled out across the police forces in the UK.
Naloxone (provided under the brand names Prenoxad and Nyxoid in the UK) is a medication enables officers to reverse or reduce the effects those suffering from a suspected drug overdose.
In an initial six-month trial in Dacorum, Stevenage, Watford and Welwyn Hatfield, frontline officers have saved three lives have been saved.
Response drivers trained in using the naloxone spray can administer and treat those suffering a suspected opiate overdose.
Dacorum Chief Inspector Jason Keane, who is overseeing the project, said: “Naloxone is literally saving people’s lives up and down the country and here in Herts officers have saved three lives during our initial six-month pilot, which is fantastic.
“These small, easy to administer nasal sprays are just another tool in our trauma kit which can mean the difference between life and death.
“The spray, which buys vital time before paramedics arrive on the scene, cannot cause any harm, even if it later transpires that the person was suffering from another medical condition.
“Initially we trained 100 response drivers from our Intervention, Safer Neighbourhood and Scorpion teams. Now we are rolling out that training to response drivers across the entire constabulary, which means we’ll be equipped to save more lives.”
The reversal effects of the nasal spray are temporary so further medical treatment is still required and the ambulance service is continuing to provide their highest level of response to these incidents.
Specialist training is being delivered to officers by the charity Change Grow Live (CGL) in partnership with Hertfordshire County Council.
County Service Manager at Spectrum CGL, Trudy Sealy said: “This ground-breaking project has already saved three lives! We are working proactively to raise awareness around opiate overdoses which has resulted in police officers now carrying nasal naloxone. This pilot and roll out is a huge step forward in preventing opiate deaths and has already made a difference to the communities we serve and together we will strive to continue to save lives.”
In February this year, a woman who had taken a codeine overdose in Hemel Hempstead started suffering seizures. Officers attended and found the female fitting. On advice from ambulance service, officers quickly administered naloxone and the woman stopped fitting and stabilised. Paramedics arrived shortly after.
In January this year, a man went into cardiac arrest in Hemel Hempstead following an accidental heroin overdose. He was discovered in a parked car and a member of the public initiated CPR as he was unresponsive. Officers quickly arrived and administered a single naloxone dose. The man came around quickly and was subsequently taken to hospital by ambulance.
In November last year officers discovered a vulnerable young woman, who had been reported missing from a clinic, in an alleyway in Watford town centre. They administered the nasal spray and she was taken to hospital by ambulance for further treatment.
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