Confusion over rules for first responders giving Narcan

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The Department of Health says the naloxone distributed under Governor Wolf`s $5 million program does meet state standards, something some paramedics are confused about.

Chief Jason Campbell at South Central EMS in Dauphin County says paramedics would not be able to use the opiate-overdose reversal drug purchased by the state because the dosage did not comply with Department of Health policy.

The chief says the dosage is 2 milligrams by nasal spray for paramedics.

But the DOH tells us they updated the policy, allowing paramedics to use two or four milligrams, the same as EMTs, who go through less training hours.

The DOH adds paramedics are allowed to follow EMT protocol until more advanced care is needed.

Paramedics do have more options to give nalaxone. They can give it through an IV or a shot in the muscle.

Campbell says that change has not been made clear to him.

He says paramedics are trained to handle these situations differently than EMTs, but did not elaborate further.

Other paramedics we talked to at Northwest EMS in Lancaster County are clear on the protocol.

They say just having the extra naloxone in the hands of others is saving lives.

"With that Narcan being available to police officers, I don't know how many of our fire departments in our coverage area took advantage of it, but the police definitely were able to get some for free. And they get on the scene before us, a lot of our police officers are now more comfortable administering it," said Suzette Kreider, compliance manager at Northwest EMS.

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