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Prescription Opioid Overdose

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

After an overdose, your risk for another overdose is higher. Follow up with healthcare providers as directed. The providers will tell you when it is okay to drive and do other daily activities. You may also need tests to make sure no new health problems started.

WHILE YOU ARE HERE:

Informed consent

is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.

Medicine:

Naloxone helps to reverse the effects of opioids.

Tests:

  • Pulse oximetry measures the percentage of oxygen in your blood.
  • An arterial blood gas (ABG) test measures the amount of oxygen and carbon dioxide in your blood. An ABG test also measures the pH of your blood and the amount of bicarbonate in it.
  • Blood and urine tests may be done to check the level of opioids or other substances in your body.

Treatment:

  • Oxygen may help you breathe easier if your oxygen level is lower than usual. It may be given through a mask placed over your nose and mouth or through small tubes placed in your nostrils. A CPAP machine may be used to keep your airway open while you sleep. You may need a ventilator if you cannot breathe on your own.
  • Counseling on how to take opioids safely will be given. Your healthcare provider may also recommend that you see a counselor if you are abusing opioids.

RISKS:

An opioid overdose can cause decreased levels of oxygen in your body. This can lead to permanent nerve and brain damage if your oxygen levels are low for a long period. An opioid overdose can become life-threatening.

CARE AGREEMENT:

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

© Copyright IBM Corporation 2018 Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or IBM Watson Health

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Learn more about Prescription Opioid Overdose (Inpatient Care)

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