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Gundersen Tri-State Ambulance providing kits with NARCAN to reverse opioid overdose

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LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) - Gundersen Tri-State Ambulance will become the first ambulance service in the state to carry NARCAN Nasal Spray plus other lifesaving materials when responding to a call.

First responders will administer the nasal spray when responding to suspected opioid overdoses. A kit will then be provided to users who are revived and refuse transport.

The kit features Naloxone, the medication used to reverse the effects of opioid overdose, information on how to administer the medication, a pocket mask for rescue breaths, and information on seeking treatment through local organizations like Alliance to Heal.

"We know that NARCAN reduces death and the more NARCAN we can get out to the patients that need it, the higher the likelihood they’re going to survive until they are sober, and in the last year, we’ve seen a dramatic increase in overdose deaths in our community and so anything we can do especially right now and prevent deaths is important,” said Chris Eberlein, MD, Gundersen Emergency Services Physician.

This new kit is made possible by a state grant called NARCAN Direct which the county receives through application. Gundersen's new program helped secure more kits for the ambulance. The health care provider also puts together the rest of the kit.

"There are many, many patients that have recovered from addiction and are productive members of society, so do not think they are beyond help, and the way that we can get them help is to keep them alive," said Eberlein.

Each ambulance will carry one kit starting in September.

Mike Beiermeister

WXOW Weekend Anchor and Reporter

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