Saskatoon

Saskatoon ambulance crews receive record number of overdose calls

Saskatoon paramedics responded to 94 overdose calls from July 6 to July 13, a local record for ambulance company Medavie Health Services West.

Crews responded to 94 overdoses, say there has been a steady increase since March

From July 6 to July 13, Saskatoon paramedics responded to 94 overdose calls, a local record for ambulance company Medavie Health Services West. (CBC)

Paramedics in Saskatoon said they were scrambling this week after a huge number of overdose calls.

Saskatoon paramedics responded to 94 overdose calls from July 6 to July 13, a local record for ambulance company Medavie Health Services West.

Last month, paramedics issued 49 doses of Narcan, a drug meant to stabilize people suffering from an overdose. In June 2019, they administered the drug to 13 people.

"Since March, we have seen a steady increase in overdose calls and an increase in patients who require Narcan," said spokesperson Troy Davies in a news release.

"We did anticipate a slight rise to these numbers due to the current COVID-19 pandemic and the mental health effects it's having on residents, but the curve continues to rise."

The release said the flood of overdose calls, along with new PPE requirements during COVID-19, is creating a stressful situation for paramedics.

The service's previous record happened from April 27 to May 4, when it received 88 overdose calls.

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