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Overdose Emergency Kits Spreading Across North Dakota

FARGO — While most people are familiar with AED’s, there’s a new type of emergency kit spreading across North Dakota.

North Dakota State University School of Pharmacy’s Opioid and Naloxone Education program, or ONE, is helping bring the ONE Box to a growing number of public spaces. The box contains doses of Naloxone and instructions on how to use it on a person that is overdosing.

“We don’t feel like someone tried to have a heart attack, but we’re thankful there’s this AED machine there to help save their life until emergency personnel can get there. And that’s the exact same thing with the ONE Box,” said Dr. Heidi Eukel, an NDSU professor in the School of Pharmacy and a ONE program team member.

The ONE Box is a small, purple, emergency kit containing two doses of nasal Naloxone (also known as Narcan), a CPR mask, gloves, and wipes.

Just like how an AED provides commands, the ONE Box has a screen that plays a full video that quickly teaches a bystander how to administer the spray. Naloxone can’t cause harm to those it’s given to.

“In an emergency situation a lot of us freeze up. We don’t have training on how to save lives. So having that there, the box can go to the actual site of the emergency, wherever that person is overdosed, and it really says, call 9-1-1, take a deep breath,” Eukel said.

The ONE program at NDSU started the push for bringing the ONE Box to North Dakota about 10 months ago after seeing its implementation in West Virginia.

With the help of local public health partners, more than 250 ONE Boxes have been distributed across the state to places like sports arenas, bars, and campgrounds.

Eukel says this is most important in rural parts of the state.

“Oftentimes the response time for an emergency personnel to get to an overdose would be extended. And then there might not be enough time for that person to be able to continue living after an overdose,” Eukel said.

She also emphasizes that a purple box showing up in a community is not indicative of an opioid overdose issue in that area, it is simply a proactive step for community safety.

“We’re not determining that this community has a huge opioid overdose problem, and that’s why we should put a box there. It’s just like a fire extinguisher. I’m not an arson, but I do have a fire extinguisher in my house just in case,” Eukel said.

The goal is to eventually get ONE Boxes everywhere an overdose could occur, which would make them as common as AED’s.

Source : INFORUM