Indiana fire dept. using Nitronox to treat pain

Paramedics in the town of Fishers are now offering Nitronox to patients as an alternative to opioids

By FireRescue1 Staff

FISHERS, Ind. — A fire department is now offering Nitronox to patients as an alternative pain treatment method.

WTTV reported that the Fishers Fire Department is utilizing Nitronox as an alternative to opioids, and Fishers Fire Captain John Mehling said they are the first in the state to do so.

"One of the things that we figured out is if we can take even a little piece of that out of the care for the patients that we deal with, that might be that one step that keeps them from becoming addicted," Mehling said.

Patients must be alert enough to administer the Nitronox to themselves under supervision of a paramedic in order to be eligible to receive it.

The medication, which is held in a portable system, takes effect within 2-3 minutes, and the patient will naturally drop the mask when they are properly sedated. The practice may re-occur as needed throughout the hospital transport.

Mehling added that the high number of overdoses is what prompted the department to make the change.

"It really comes down to the number of overdoses that we respond. Fishers is not immune to that problem and we're trying to look at any and all ways that we can prevent people becoming addicted to opioids," he said.

The new method will be closely monitored by officials, who will relay information to St. Vincent Hospital and the State of Indiana EMS Medical Director.

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