Health Dept. warns of overdose spike at hospitals

CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – Local health officials are warning of an uptick in drug overdoses.

The Hamilton County Health Department reports a spike in non-fatal overdoses at local hospitals over the last couple of days.

“This is a cluster of concern due to the number of overdoses that have occurred from suspected fentanyl, opioids, or other illicit drugs used in Hamilton County.”

There were also fentanyl OD’s in both Fort Oglethorpe and Walker County recently.

Three people died from overdosing in Kensington, Georgia.

“The Health Department is in communication with our community partners, neighboring counties, law enforcement, and hospitals. We will work together to monitor this situation and provide updates as they are warranted. Drug users, family members, and friends of drug users should keep a supply of Naloxone – it may help save the life of you or someone you know,” says Dr. Stephen Miller, Hamilton County Health Department Health Officer.

Health officials say recognizing the symptoms quickly can be a lifesaver.

Here are the signs you should look for, according to the CDC:

Small, constricted “pinpoint” pupils
Falling asleep or losing consciousness
Slow, weak, or not breathing
Choking or gurgling sounds
Limp body
Cold and/or clammy skin
Discolored skin (especially on lips and nails)

If you suspect an overdose…

Call 911 immediately (Tennessee has enacted the Good Samaritan Law that protects individuals from the potential legal repercussions of helping others in need, such as reporting an overdose.)

Use the proper Personal Protective Equipment before approaching a potential overdose.

Administer the life-saving medication naloxone if you have some.

Give chest compressions or CPR (if you are certified to give CPR or instructed by the 911 operator to do so.)
·         If possible try to keep the person awake and breathing.

Turn the person on their side.
Stay with the person until paramedics arrive.
All suspect cases should be reported immediately.

Categories: Health, Local News