Drug workers save man’s life

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Two Ilkeston-based drugs workers have received awards for their quick-thinking response which saved the life of a man overdosing on hard drugs.

The pair, who both work for Derbyshire Substance Misuse Service, were getting ready to call it a day one Friday afternoon in July when a member of the public alerted them to a suspected overdose in public toilets opposite their office on Station Road.

Realising the urgency of the situation, Andrea Anthony and Tina Daly spang into action and made their way over to the toilets, taking a supply of Naloxone - a drug which reverses the effects of opiate drugs.

Andrea said: “We found him on the floor of the men’s toilets, pale and unresponsive, so we made the decision to administer Naloxone.

“In a syringe pack of five doses you administer a dose and see if you get a response but we didn’t get one and had to give him all five doses - luckily he came round just as the ambulance arrived for him.

“When we were initially notified we went into auto-mode and we are always training our clients to administer Naloxone but when it comes to administering it yourself it’s different.

“I don’t know whether it has ever been administered by a drugs worker but it was really quite nerve-wracking - I am not a nurse and I’m not used to injecting people.”

Andrea said it was often the case that people experiencing overdoses and other drug-related problems were reluctant to accept help from the emergency services.

She added: “We saw him running away from the paramedics about 20 minutes later but we did see him a week later and he said he was fine.”

A spokesman for Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust said: “To recognise and celebrate their fantastic work, Andrea and Tina picked up an award at Derbyshire Healthcare’s 2016 Delivering Excellence Awards ceremony.

“Andrea and Tina’s rapid thinking, response and action brought the individual round from the overdose and almost certainly saved a life.”