EMTprep Free Training Materials


What are opioids and what are they used for?

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Opioids are medications that are either extracted from poppy plants or synthesized in a lab that are used to treat pain. They can be used for acute, chronic, or end of life pain.

What are side effects of opioids?

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Opioid use can cause constipation, drowsiness, decreased respirations, and pupil constriction.

What symptoms of an opioid overdose?

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Overdose symptoms include cyanosis, respiratory depression, pupil constriction, respiratory arrest, unresponsiveness.

How do you treat an opioid overdose?

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Opioid overdoses can be treated with Narcan/Naloxone and ventilating the patient until they are breathing effectively again.

How do nature derived opiates differ from synthetic opiates?

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Nature derived opiates are given in higher doses than synthetic opiates because they are not as strong, for example Morphine is frequently given in doses of 2-5mg while Fentanyl is frequently given in 25-50mcg doses.

Are opioids addictive?

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Yes, opioids can be highly addictive, especially if taken for a long period of time. Even if they are legitimately being used for pain, if you are on them for a while you can have withdrawal symptoms when they are stopped.

Which of these are synthetic opioids and which are naturally derived: Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Fentanyl, Dilaudid, Codeine, Heroin, Morphine, Buprenorphine, and Methadone?

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Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Fentanyl, Buprenorphine, Dilaudid, and Methadone are synthetic, and Heroin, Codeine, and Morphine are naturally derived.

What are symptoms of withdrawal from opioids?

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Symptoms of opioid withdrawal can include: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, tachycardia, hypertension, dilated pupils, sweating, muscle aches, anxiety, and goose bumps.

Can opioids cross the blood barrier into the placenta?

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Yes, it can, so babies born to mothers that were on opiates, especially if they are addicted to opiates will withdraw once they are born an no longer receiving opioids through the bloodstream.

How can you manage opioid withdrawal symptoms in the field?

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If it is in your scope of practice you can administer IV fluids for dehydration, Anti-emetics for the nausea and vomiting, and Tylenol, Ibuprofen, or Aspirin if you carry it for the muscle cramps. If they are severe they may need to be transported and possibly admitted for medications such as Clonidine, Loperamide, or Hydroxyzine to further manage symptoms.