Workplace exposures Fire/emergency medical services Health Care Workers

Poison Control Centers to first responders: Call hotline if exposed to fentanyl

powdered fentanyl

Pictured is fentanyl in a powdered form.
Photo: Drug Enforcement Administration

Alexandria, VA – The American Association of Poison Control Centers and American Humane are urging first responders to call the 24-hour Poison Help Hotline if they or their canine partners are exposed to fentanyl, a synthetic opioid considered up to 50 times more potent than heroin.

An “alarming upward trend of poison-related deaths and injuries directly linked to the use of highly potent synthetic opioids” spurred the reminder, according to a June 12 press release from AAPCC. The Drug Enforcement Administration on June 6 published an updated video warning of the dangers of fentanyl exposure.

When workers call the hotline at (800) 222-1222 or text “poison” to “797979,” they will receive access to information about fentanyl and, if needed, staff can provide guidance for first responder canines exposed to fentanyl.

“Even a very small amount of fentanyl can be deadly,” AAPCC CEO and Executive Director Stephen Kaminski said in the release. “As this epidemic continues to spread across the country, it is vital that anyone who suspects he or she has been accidentally exposed to this dangerous drug contact poison control immediately. … Seeking the medical expertise of a poison center toxicology specialist could be lifesaving.”

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