Another alert issued over opioid-related ER visits
Published Thursday, November 7, 2019 9:20AM EST
Last Updated Thursday, November 7, 2019 7:38PM EST
WINDSOR -- Another alert has been issued over an increase in the number of opioid-related Emergency Department visits in Windsor-Essex.
The latest alert is due to a spike in cases on Tuesday, Nov. 5.
The Windsor-Essex Community Opioid and Substance Strategy (WECOSS) says in its alert that the number of overdose, intoxication and substance misuse-related ED visits exceeded the threshold limit.
It states of the seven cases which were presented at area emergency rooms, four were confirmed to be amphetamine-related and one was confirmed to be related to opioid use.
This is the second alert in less than a week.
On Friday, WECOSS issued an alert after 11 people were admitted to area emergency departments on Oct. 30 and Oct. 31. Five were confirmed to be opioid-related.
The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit says they are looking at the type drugs involved in the recent ER visits, to see if there is a new drug on the market.
Officials say Naloxone was administered by EMS in seven instances, to help reverse an overdose.
The alert also states the number of EMS Opioid Surveillance reports have remained consistent since the initial cases were reported on Nov. 1.
Windsor Regional Hospital has partnered with the Downtown Mission to help manage the number of people who visit the ER with substance abuse issues.
A social worker in the Mission Navigator program, launched earlier this year, directs patients to addiction recovery programs in the community.
In the first six months of the program, navigators helped 210 patients.
But officials admit they may need to re-evaluate the program if there continues to be a spike in the number of substance abuse ER visits.
Public Health Ontario reports 22 opioid-related deaths in Windsor-Essex in the first three months of 2019. That is double the number of people who died in the first quarter last year.
Public Health Ontario has also increased the number of opioid-related deaths in 2018 in Windsor-Essex. The initial report had 48 deaths. That number is now 51, including 10 opioid-related deaths in the month of November.
Stats also show 148 people per 1,000 in the region were prescribed opioids in 2018, higher than any other LHIN in Ontario.