October 13, 2013
The American Society of Anesthesiologists Creates Opioid Overdose Resuscitation Card
In response to the prescription drug abuse epidemic in the United States, the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) is collaborating with the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy to respond to the problem, educate the public and advance programs to help those who misuse and abuse prescription drugs. Today, ASA launches its Opioid Overdose Resuscitation card to identify and treat someone suspected of an opioid overdose.
“Opioids have great potential to relieve suffering when used correctly,” said Richard Rosenquist, M.D., Chair, ASA Committee on Pain Medicine. “However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have classified prescription drug abuse as an epidemic, and additional public education is necessary to reduce opioid-related deaths. ASA developed this informational card to assist the public in identifying and helping those suspected of an opioid overdose.”
The ASA Opioid Overdose Resuscitation card lists symptoms to look for when an opioid overdose is suspected. It also details step-by-step instructions for assisting a person suspected of an overdose prior to the arrival of emergency medical personnel. The card can be downloaded at: asahq.org/WhenSecondsCount/resources
“Over 20,000 people in the United States die from drug overdoses every day,” said R. Gil Kerlikowske, director, Office of National Drug Control Policy. “Three out of four prescription drug overdoses are caused by opiates. The ASA’s Opioid Overdose Resuscitation card is a beneficial tool that provides easy-to-understand, lifesaving techniques to help friends and family recognize signs of an opioid overdose and take the steps necessary to save a life.”