WASHINGTON, D.C.—The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) supports the release of federal government recommendations for emergency medical services (EMS) professionals and other first responders designed to help avoid harmful exposure to fentanyl, an opioid medication.
“The Fentanyl Safety Recommendations for First Responders are an important first step toward keeping EMS professionals and others safe in the field when responding to calls where fentanyl is involved,” said ACEP President Paul Kivela, MD, FACEP. “These guidelines will help protect professionals on the frontlines of the nation’s opioid epidemic while they work to limit the tragic consequences that too often come with drug abuse.”
The recommendations are the result of a Federal Interagency Working Group coordinated by the White House National Security Council. Stakeholder associations and organizations representing the medical, public health, law enforcement, Fire/EMS, and occupational safety and health disciplines provided invaluable input to inform the Interagency Working Group’s efforts, and their feedback helped ensure the recommendations are operationally relevant, appropriately tailored to first responders, and conveyed in a user-friendly one-page format.
ACEP is one of 24 associations/organizations offering collaborative support for the recommendations.
The recommendations fall into three specific categories:
- Actions first responders can take to protect themselves from exposure.
- Actions first responders can take when exposure occurs.
- Actions first responders can take when they or their partners exhibit signs of intoxication.