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Pyles: Local Overdose Calls Spike Friday

June 30th, 2019 by WCBC Radio

Emergency medical services, fire and police agencies have responded to an increase in calls for overdoses over the past 24 hours in Allegany County, according to Emergency Services officials.

“We have seen a spike in calls for overdoses in our community, likely related to Fentanyl laced heroin,” Allegany County Department of Emergency Services Director James Pyles said. “Our agency and partnering agencies have been responding to these increased emergencies over the last day.”

Paramedics, EMTs, firefighters and law enforcement personnel have been dealing with the drug epidemic locally for an extended period of time, according to Pyles. We want to make sure that these first responders and the public are aware of the potentially deadly effects of secondhand exposure.

“Our emergency responders have body substance isolation procedures that we use on every call,” Pyles said. “Our staff wear gloves in all patient contact situations. If providers feel that they may be exposed to particles in the air, they should be using respiratory protections and gowns.”

Pyles continued that if you believe a family member or friend has overdosed to contact 911 immediately and leave any unknown substances alone that may be around the patient.

“We want the public to alert emergency services as soon as possible to get help started. We don’t want the public near unknown substances. Allow trained professionals that can wear protection, if applicable to remove the substance,” Pyles said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported in 2017 that 494,000 people over the age of 12 confirmed using Heroin. Another study completed in 2015 showed unintentional overdoses or heroin poisoning accounted for 81,326 emergency room visits.

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