How can we Improve Survival from Opioid-Related Cardiac Arrest?

Deaths due to opioid overdoses have reached epidemic proportions in Canada, with nearly 8,000 Canadians losing their lives in the last two years. Knowledge of how rescuers can best respond to cardiac arrests due to opioid overdose is urgently needed.  

Unfortunately, there is a paucity of studies examining opioid-related cardiac arrest; therefore, there is a lack of evidence to guide bystanders or professional rescuers on how best to intervene. Specifically, there is controversy regarding the benefit of bystander-initiated rescue breaths and paramedic-delivered naloxone. The goal of this project is to determine best resuscitative strategies for opioid-related cardiac arrest to inform national and international guidelines.  

In this project I will create the largest and most comprehensive dataset of cardiac arrest cases due to opioid overdose in the world, complete with detailed data on bystander and professional interventions, and patient-oriented outcomes. I will analyze this data to determine the best treatment strategies. In addition, I will examine the benefit of public access opioid overdose kits and their optimal locations. I will implement a knowledge translation and dissemination plan in collaboration with key knowledge-users.