Naloxone is a life-saving drug that temporarily reverses the effects of an opioid overdose. Under the Health Professions General Regulation, all health professionals have been authorized to administer emergency use Naloxone, even when administering a drug may not be within their scope of practice. This means that speech and hearing health professionals can be trained in the emergency use of Naloxone. The specific wording in the Health Professions General Regulation, under the Health Professions Act, now reads:
Exception for opioid overdose
9 (1) This section applies despite
- section 4(2) of the Medical Practitioners Regulation, and
- any limit or condition imposed under an enactment on the practise of a profession, occupation or trade by a person or class of persons.
(2) If a person who is not otherwise authorized to administer naloxone to another person suspects that another person is suffering from an overdose of opioids, the person may assess and treat the other person if treatment is limited to the emergency administration of
- naloxone, by intramuscular injection or intranasally, and
- first aid.
The use of Naloxone does not replace the need for emergency care, nor does it minimize the importance of calling 9-1-1.
Registrants who may need to administer Naloxone must be familiar with the signs of an opioid overdose and ‘how to use naloxone’. Health care employers may have training and support available to registrant employees. There are also key resources available to all health professionals on the BC Toward the Heart website, which is affiliated with the BC Centre for Disease Control.
For further information, please contact Mardi Lowe, Director, Quality Assurance & Professional Practice at [email protected].