Mostly linking to other people this week because these particular sets of night shifts are knocking me silly.
A couple of days ago I wrote about some attitudes towards homeless folks – there is another group of patients that engender a similar response, that of the heroin overdose.
Peter Canning writes (another) excellent post about the use of Narcan in opiate overdoses. I've got to admit that I've been guilty of 'punishing' overdoses in the past when I was a bitter and twisted A&E nurse, although in part that was in collusion with the A&E doctors.
Now I've taken a much more relaxed attitude to heroin overdoses, a nice slow administration of Narcan while I breathe for them with my ambu-bag, a chilled out little job with the overdose waking gently and peacefully. If you can maintain the patient's airway for them, and keep them well ventilated then there is no rush for the Narcan at all.
Makes life better for the patient, and better for the ambulance crew. Because who really needs to be the person put into instant drug withdrawal, or be the person who gets punched because they put someone else into instant withdrawal.
And if, as a crew, you are nice and relaxed then the patient's fellow junkies tend to be nice and relaxed as well – and I like nice and relaxed.