First-aid volunteers to administer Fentanyl when medics aren't available

The move has been criticized as dangerous; they will get 8 hours of training to inject the highly addictive opiate, and will not carry Naloxone to bring people back from an accidental overdose


The Age Victoria

AUSTRALIA — Volunteer first-aiders employed by Ambulance Victoria are being trained to administer a controlled drug that is up to 100 times more powerful than morphine so they can give it to patients when paramedics are unavailable.

As Ambulance Victoria tries to expand its use of lesser trained first-aiders and improve its response times, 146 volunteers in 28 locations have been taught to administer Fentanyl where it is not economically feasible to maintain professional ambulance branches.

The move has been criticized by the paramedics' union and the Victorian Emergency Physicians Association as dangerous, with the latter saying it could be a slippery slope that leads to volunteers taking on more advanced medical work they are not qualified for.

Read full storyAmbulance volunteers to inject hard drug Fentanyl

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