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HHS releases guidance for naloxone administration during pandemic

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said naloxone can be safely administered by first responders with proper PPE and other safety measures


By Laura French

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has issued guidance for first responders to safely administer naloxone during the COVID-19 pandemic.

HHS stated that naloxone can be safely administered with proper PPE and safety measures, and published resources for first responders responding to overdoses during the pandemic.

A flyer published by the department outlines eight steps for administering naloxone while reducing the risk of COVID-19 exposure.

Measures include having the patient’s face positioned away from the first responder when possible, stepping back to a distance of at least 6 feet once the patient regains consciousness, following CDC guidelines for PPE and for additional PPE when a patient is suspected to have COVID-19, and washing one’s hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds after removing PPE.

“Naloxone saves lives. With safety precautions in place, all law enforcement, firefighters, and EMS providers can safely administer naloxone during the COVID19 pandemic to those experience an opioid overdose,” HHS tweeted.

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