August 2, 2017 at 1:54 am #1038
I almost feel sorry to bring up this topic once again, especially since it has already been discussed in detail on the podasts. However, I thought that some people may be interested to know that here, in the UK, incidents and deaths involving fentanyl are occurring – and will most likely continue.
I came across this article posted on BBC News, stating that ‘At least 60 people have died in the UK in the last eight months after taking the strong painkiller fentanyl.’
Sadly, I’m unaware of any further details beyond which are stated in the article. Though I’d be interested to find out how the situation is being handled amongst the emergency responders in the UK.August 2, 2017 at 9:17 am #1057
Big problem in the USAugust 2, 2017 at 5:42 pm #1059
Southeastern Pennsylvania is deep in the mix with the opioid epidemic. We see a heavy workload on the EMS side of the house. When it comes to hazardous materials, we are working a game plan for our response. Research is where this hazard is identified and the risk is managed. We still have plenty of people and local media selling the “touch of death” hysteria. I believe one of the podcasts put it best when they said the hysteria gives the boogie-man and face and voice. Good luck over there!August 3, 2017 at 8:39 am #1085
If you all had a fentanyl run right now, what are you thinking PPE wise out there?August 3, 2017 at 7:20 pm #1089
I agree with a statement from your fentanyl analysis podcast (I think it was). You mentioned a level C PPE selection.
Going through our cache of PPE I would go with our Kappler Zytron 300 garment (type 26 I believe) which is basically a hooded coverall with built in booties and exposed hands requiring gloves.
Follow that up with over boots, a base layer nitrile glove under a primary chemical glove, and a good tape job. The main hazard found by research and resources would inhalation before absorption via transdermal contact. Top it all off with our Scott PAPR and a good tape job on the face seal. I think this protects the member against the hazard in the risk of exposure to the hazard.August 6, 2017 at 12:33 am #1136
As far as PPE is concerned, I’m probably not the best person to comment since I’m not an operational firefighter. However, if I can put in my two pennies’ worth, I’d recommend BA and a chemical protective suit with nitrile gloves. The overarching hazard with fentanyl in the powdered form is contamination via inhalation, so BA is obviously the most efficient protective measure. The BA face mask will also protect the eyes from contamination.
It must be said that it may be reasonable to make entry wearing standard PPE: firefighter turnout tunic, BA and gloves – since the risk of transdermal contamination is low (though, as we’ve seen this is much disputed). But several other factors must be taken into consideration, namely, carrying out effective decon, the presence of unknown hazards (both chemical and physical), the nature of the incident, the nature of the chemical hazard(s) (solid, powder, solution), etc.August 7, 2017 at 5:27 am #1141August 8, 2017 at 3:21 am #1143
For entry into a known lab for recon, I would simply have my team wear their turnout gear and SCBA as they won’t be touching anything, they will be less bulky than in an encapsulated suit and they are most comfortable and familiar with their own gear. When the police or the government agency that handles the investigation ( here it is Health Canada chemists) enter any lab, they are in level B or C. Most often I have seen them in level B.
If we are responding to an O/D, we are in our station gear with the typical gloves and glasses. If we feel there is a threat of inhalation exposure, then we will don face masks.
In the province of British Columbia here, we have now almost reached the number of O/D deaths for the entire year last year. We currently sit at 780 (as of June). Last year we experienced 914 O/D deaths in the province. Reports from our neighboring Fire Department (Vancouver) show that they have responded to over 3600 O/D calls since January. Anyone else seeing that kind of volume? I understand that this is a problem just about everywhere now, but I am curious as to the experiences of other cities east and south of us.August 15, 2017 at 12:23 am #1258
IFAC SHS just released the IAB report (a lot of acronyms…I know) recommending PPE for anticipated exposure types to fentanyl responses. This seems more down to earth rather than the old Level ‘A’ all day approach some leadership might be pushing on the men and women who actually have to go downrange. Click or paste the link to view the report….Cheers!
IAB First Responder PPE and Decontamination Recommendations for FentanylAugust 15, 2017 at 12:27 am #1259
I am down in Philadelphia, PA and we have begun tracking the OD’s or suspected OD’s more closely. 2016 produced a little over 900 deaths. That is all the data I have on hand. Our EMS system is busy fighting the crisis and our HAZMAT is building a response plan.
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