Keywords: fentanyl overdose, observation period (PubMed Search)
Non-pharmaceutical fentanyl (NPF) is a major contributor to opioid overdoses and overdose fatality. In certain urban areas such as Vancouver, over 80% of heroin samples contain NPF. For isolated heroin overdose ED patients, they can be safely discharged after brief observation period (~2 hours). However, “safe” observation time for fentanyl is unknown.
Recently, a retrospective study evaluating the safe observation period in 1009 suspected (uncomplicated) fentanyl overdose ED visits (827 unique patients).
In the field:
In the ED:
Scheuermeyer FX et al. Safety of a brief emergency department observation protocol for patients with presumed fentanyl overdose. Ann Emerg Med 2018 (PMID: 29530654)