PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE | BY SHELLY BRADBURY | 5.20.17
PITTSBURGH (AP) — The call came in at dinnertime: an 11-year-old girl, not breathing.
Pittsburgh paramedics with Medic 8 supposed the girl was choking on her food as they raced to the address in Beechview.
But paramedics with Medic 2 got to the home first and sent out an update over the air: The girl showed telltale signs of heroin use. This was an overdose.
What followed was unique only because of the girl’s young age.
The paramedics gave the girl Narcan, a nasal spray that reverses the effects of opioid overdoses.
The paramedics gave the girl an adult dose of naloxone and revived her. The drug, often known by the trade name Narcan, blocks the effects of opioids, and can save patients from otherwise fatal overdoses, but also plunges patients into immediate physical withdrawal. The girl, like many heroin users, became combative and nonsensical when she was revived. Paramedics sedated her on the way to the hospital, and left her there in stable but critical condition.