Hospital Expands Naloxone Kit Outreach
HEALTH – Hoping to stem the tide of opioid overdoses, officials from Lincoln Hospital announced further outreach and expansion of the naloxone kits to prevent deaths.
Increasing naloxone availability saves lives,” said Mitchell Katz, MD, president and chief executive officer of NYC Health + Hospitals. “Making naloxone easily accessible to our patients and members of the community who may have friends or family struggling with opioid use is an important part of New York City’s response to the opioid epidemic.”
Since the city launched HealingNYC in March 2017, NYC Health + Hospitals has distributed more than 2,100 naloxone kits and implemented the following initiatives to make naloxone available throughout the health system:
•Emergency department protocols related to nonfatal overdoses have been standardized in all 11 health system emergency departments.
Free naloxone distribution to at-risk patients is one focus of these protocols.
NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln in the South Bronx, an area with some of the highest rates of overdose in the city, has expanded naloxone distribution to make naloxone kits more readily accessible to patients and family or friends who may know someone effected by opioid use.
Naloxone kits are distributed broadly by the hospital’s pharmacy, beyond its substance use disorder program, to include the emergency department and behavioral health and chemical dependency services.
• NYC Health + Hospitals/Lincoln also became the first hospital to open a hospital-based naloxone kit distribution center to make the drug available free of charge to the community at large, without the need for a prescription. Kits are available to anyone 12 and older, and everyone who receives a kit will also be trained by hospital staff, which takes approximately five minutes. Training includes how to identify someone who is suffering from an overdose and how to properly administer the naloxone nasal spray.
Plans are underway to add similar naloxone kit distribution centers to the 10 other public hospitals, as well.