The project already has 47 hospitals committed to dispensing the overdose antidote to at-risk patients as they are discharged from the emergency department.
When doctors write a prescription for the life-saving antidote to an opioid overdose, patients only bother to fill them about 5% of the time.
But what if hospital physicians simply handed a vial of naloxone to the patients they worry are most likely to die, particularly those who were just rushed to the emergency room after overdosing on fentanyl, prescription opioids or heroin?
That’s the idea behind the “Colorado Naloxone Project,” a group started by a Swedish Medical Center physician. The project already has 47 hospitals committed to dispensing the overdose antidote to at-risk patients as they are discharged from the emergency department.
“For people who have never seen the effects of naloxone, it’s amazing,” said Dr. Don Stader, an emergency physician at Swedish in Englewood. “It’s one of the most miraculous things in medicine. You see people who would have truly died come back to life.”
The goal of the project — which officially launched Monday — is to make Colorado the first state in the…