December 14, 2017 – In America, the drug epidemic has had far-reaching effects on society. This week, an area health provider shared insight into how the crisis is impacting care in its emergency room.
On average, approximately 142 people die each day from a drug overdose in the nation. According to Penn Medicine, Chester County Hospital is taking steps to address the challenges associated with the opioid epidemic.
Adjustments include making Narcan more accessible in the emergency room, dedicating two rooms for resuscitation for overdose patients, and having social workers on location around the clock:
Having options for these patients at such times is critical, says [Jeanmarie Perrone, MD, professor of Emergency Medicine and director of Medical Toxicology at Penn Medicine]. She has been advocating for medication-assisted treatments, such as Suboxone, an opioid agonist-antagonist, in Penn’s emergency departments and primary care clinics, as well as the appropriate trainings for doctors who would be able to administer them.
“If we are able to start them immediately on an opioid replacement treatment, they can have a chance at feeling what treatment is like, that they can do it, and they won’t have withdrawal symptoms all the time,” Perrone said.
Perrone is also helping Penn Presbyterian Medical Center establish a “Center of Excellence,” which will use state funding for specific space in the hospital for people with opioid addictions, ensuring they stay in treatment, and receive care and support. Chester County Hospital currently refers patients to other agencies and facilities to provide the follow-up treatment necessary to prevent relapsing.
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Read the full story from Penn Medicine.