to do in an emergency!
you want to save a life? This application is for people
who use opiate drugs, their friends, family members, addiction
workers, homeless staff and others concerned with their
welfare. People who use opiates like morphine, codeine,
fentanyl and methadone can be at risk of overdose. Many
people who come across an overdosed person have little confidence
or knowledge of what to do when faces with such a scenario.
This app is designed to help reduce the risk of an overdose
happening and prevent the loss of life if one does occur
outside a hospital setting. The aim is to give the overdosed
person the maximum chance to survive.
It contains 5
sections and is like a learning resource like a training
manual, preparing you to intervene effectively if an overdose
ever occurs. The emergency section is used when someone
comes across a real opiate overdose, it gives interactive
video and audio advice assisted by large press-button options
to help you manage the overdose prior to emergency services
iphone App here
Android App here
of an Overdose
has overdosed, put them in the recovery position and keep
watching them. You need to know if they are asleep or unconscious.
You can find out by shouting or pinching their ear.
They are unconscious
if you cant wake them or they are showing other signs
of unconsciousness such as:
turning blue; or not breathing
them in the recovery position
999 and ask for an ambulance
with them until the ambulance arrives
Call an Ambulance
If someone is
unconscious they need an ambulance. If you are worried about
the police coming, dont mention drugs when you dial
999. Tell them youve found someone unconscious and
explain what has happened when the ambulance arrives.
Make sure there
is no shouting or panic in the background when you dial
999 to reduce the chances of the police coming.
you dont call an ambulance and someone dies, the police
will always come so that they can inform relatives and investigate
the death. If the person who died had been given an injection
by someone else, there could be a charge of manslaughter.
Calling an ambulance
Keep them Alive
If the person
stops breathing, give them 10 breaths of mouth-to-mouth
resuscitation. Then, if you havent already done it,
call an ambulance.
1. The person
should be lying flat on their back.
2. Remove chewing gum or anything else you can see in their
mouth, then lift their chin.
3. Pinch their nostrils together, using your first finger
4. Take a deep breath and make a good seal around their
lips with your mouth.
5. Blow steadily until you see their chest rise.
6. Take your mouth away and let their chest sink right back
7. Repeat steps 3 to 6.
If you are giving
mouth-to-mouth but find that the person isnt moving
at all (look to see if their eyes are moving) or is getting
bluer or colder
waste time looking for a pulse
chest compression straightaway.
(also known as heart massage)
Even if their
heart is still beating, if they are not moving and are getting
bluer or colder, their heartbeat cant be that strong.
You wont do any harm by starting chest compressions,
and you could save their life.
1. Find the
place where the ribs meet the breastbone, and lay two fingers
2. Put the heel of your other hand on their breastbone,
just above where your two fingers are.
3. Put your first hand on top of this hand, locking your
fingers together as shown.
4. Keeping your shoulders above the centre of the persons
chest and your arms straight, press down on their chest
by about 4 to 5 cm (1.5 to 2 inches).
5. Release the pressure, but keep your hands where they
are. This is a chest compression.
6. Do 15 chest compressions in just under 10 seconds.
7. Give two breaths of mouth-to-mouth.
8. Continue to give 15 compressions followed by two breaths
of mouth-to-mouth, until help arrives
If their heart
starts beating again, and their colour changes from blue
to pink, stop chest compressions and continue with mouth-to-mouth
1. Open the persons
airway by tilting their head back and lifting their chin.
2. Straighten their legs.
3. Put the arm
nearest to you at right angles to their body.
4. Pull the arm furthest from you across their chest and
put the back of their hand against the cheek which is nearest
5. Get hold of their far leg, just above the knee, and pull
it up, keeping the foot flat on the ground.
6. Keep their hand pressed against their cheek.
7. Pull on their upper leg to roll them towards you, and
onto their side.
8. Tilt their head back to make sure they can breathe easily.
9. Make sure that both the hip and the knee of their upper
leg are bent at right angles.
What not to do!
There are lots
of myths about what to do to bring someone round when they
have overdosed. But if someone has taken a lethal dose of
drugs, there is nothing you can do to wake them up
call an ambulance. The paramedics can then give them naloxone
(the heroin antidote) and oxygen.
Myth 1 - Walking
people around helps Wrong!
Trying to walk people around may make things worse because
it wastes time, and there is a risk they might fall. It
is also possible that, as the heartbeat increases with the
exercise, the drugs will be absorbed into their bloodstream
Myth 2 - Putting
people in a cold bath wakes them up Wrong!
If you know of people who woke up when they were put in
the bath, it was because they were lucky and hadnt
taken a lethal dose. It was not because they were put in
in the bath is dangerous because it takes time to run the
bath and they could die while it is filling. There is also
a risk of injury while they are being put in the bath and
taken out, and of drowning while they are in there.
Myth 3 - Slapping
or hurting someone can bring them round Wrong!
You do need to know if someone is sleeping or unconscious.
You can tell this by shouting at them, or pinching their
ear. Anything more drastic wont make any difference
to whether or not they come round.
If shouting and
pinching doesnt wake them, they are unconscious and
you need to call an ambulance and start first-aid.
Myth 4 - Injecting
people with salt water is an antidote to overdose
Some people think that giving an injection of salt water
to someone who has overdosed will bring them round.
water is dangerous because:
It wastes time
when you should be putting the person in the recovery position
and calling for an ambulance; and
if, in the panic,
you give the salt water in a used syringe, it could give
them HIV or hepatitis.
The idea of injecting
people with salt water might have come from people seeing
friends in hospital being given a saline (salt) drip. But
the drip is only put up to keep a vein open
so they can inject medication. The salt doesnt affect
the overdose at all.