June 12, 2018

Opioid Crisis and RN Speciality Practice for Take Home Naloxone Kits

Canada is facing a serious and growing opioid crisis. The SRNA is working with other provincial and national organizations to better understand the impact of the Opioid Crisis and support SRNA members with the education and tools they need for their practice.

RN Specialty Practices supports Provision of Take Home Naloxone Kits in SK

The SRNA supports wide availability of Take Home Naloxone (THN) kits for individuals at risk of opioid overdose, their families, support persons and community-based organizations.

Naloxone is a medication that can reverse the effects of opioids. It can be given intramuscularly (IM) or by nasal spray, and THN kits have been created to make this life-saving medication readily available. Naloxone is available without a prescription and contains two doses. Training for use of the kit includes how to assess for opioid overdose, the steps for administering Naloxone, and a may include a return demonstration. The acronym SAVE ME is a helpful reminder of the steps, which are:

  • Stimulate (Unresponsive? Call 911)
  • Airway
  • Ventilate (1 breath every 5 seconds)
  • Evaluate
  • Muscular injection (1 mL of Naloxone)
  • Evaluate (2nd dose?)

RNs in various settings across Saskatchewan can play an important role in providing THN kits. An RN Clinical Protocol template with a medical directive has been created to support this RN Specialty Practice. The template includes the elements of an RN Specialty Practice including the required competencies, the process steps, and the authority to provide this medication through a medical directive. The RN Clinical Protocol: Provision of Take Home Naloxone kit template is designed to be readily adapted and applied in various practice settings across the province.

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