Actions and Detail Panel
Simple Action day: instructions for overdose emergency kits
Fri 31 March 2017, 09:30 – 17:00 BST
Simple Action days are creative sessions where information designers and writers contribute their time to help solve a communication problem of social significance. Everyone's welcome, including interested non-designers, students and others. This one is organised by Stephanie VandenBerg, who is a Canadian emergency physician currently studying epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.
Opiate overdoses are a huge problem but there is an antidote called naloxone which can save lives.
For years, street nurses, paramedics and police have carried injectable naloxone with them for emergencies where someone looks like they have overdosed and are not breathing. It can literally save the patients life if it is given right when a nurse/paramedic or police arrive. However, because of stigma with drug use, a lot of people are overdosing and no one calls the police because they fear everyone will get arrested. The solution has been to rapidly hand-out as many of these antidote kits as possible – to emergency department patients, pharmacies, clinics – all for free. The problem is, people don’t know how to use them and the medical community's approach is complex, involving red tape and hours of teaching sessions that are redundant, clumsy and ineffecient.
A re-design of two components (1. recognizing an overdose; 2. how to respond) would make the use of this antidote more user friendly and improve education so people who use and misuse drugs, even on a periodic and recreational basis, can live healthier lives.
We'll work together to come up with a better way to communicate what's needed in a crisis. There a longer version of this information in our blog: http://www.simplificationcentre.org.uk/2017/03/our-next-simple-action-day-overdose-emergency-kits/