Beginning this week Schaumburg police will start carrying a drug that firefighter/paramedics have been carrying for decades. The extra seconds afforded because police officers often arrive a few minutes before the rescue ambulance arrives is considered to be life saving.
Schaumburg police have joined a proven DuPage County program which provides police officers with the drug Naloxone or Narcan — a heroin antidote.
Every Schaumburg squad car will be equipped with a dose of the drug Naloxone. The drug counteracts the depressive effect of heroin which can cause respiratory arrest and cardiac arrest. Naloxone can cause a dramatic reversal from an unconscious and near death state to an alert and combative state. When Narcan is administered intravenously, the onset of action is generally apparent within two minutes. The onset of action is slightly less rapid when it is administered subcutaneously or intramuscularly. The Schaumburg police have a Narcan kit uses nasal administration.
One study has shown that the nasal administration of naloxone resulted in less patients experiencing agitation upon awakening compared to the intravenous or intramuscular routes of administration.
In some situations, police in other communities have administered two doses and then paramedics administer the third dose.
Some of Schaumburg’s police vehicles also carry an AED or Automated External Defibrillator, which is used for cardiac arrest — especially in the case of heart attacks.
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