Ottawa paramedics boosting supply of opioid antidote naloxone

Ottawa paramedics are increasing the amount of the opioid overdose antidote naloxone aboard ambulances and in their equipment bags, according to a memo to city council.

Paramedic service noticing 'increase in opioid-related calls,' according to GM's memo

The memo from Anthony Di Monte, the city's general manager of emergency and protective services, says that the Ottawa Paramedic Service is boosting its naloxone inventory after noticing "an increase in opioid-related calls." (CBC)

Ottawa paramedics are carrying a larger supply of the opioid overdose antidote naloxone aboard ambulances and in their equipment bags, according to a memo to city council.

According to the memo from Anthony Di Monte, general manager of emergency and protective services, the Ottawa Paramedic Service has been boosting its naloxone inventory after noticing "an increase in opioid-related calls."

Earlier this month police and public health officials issued a public warning about fake prescription pills potentially laced with the deadly opioid fentanyl.

Fentanyl has been linked to dozens of deaths across Canada, including 14 overdose deaths in Ottawa in 2015, the latest numbers currently available.

Di Monte said the paramedic service is also continuing to prepare for the arrival of more potent opioids such as carafentanyl. In December, local paramedics were urged to wear masks to deal with the drug, an animal tranquillizer that's approximately 100 times stronger than fentanyl.

The paramedic service is also planning to provide naloxone — along with the appropriate training — to the city's fire department, Di Monte said.