Colorado hospital offering Narcan to pregnant patients, new moms at risk of drug overdose

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ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (KDVR) — Pregnant and new moms who are at risk of overdose will now be given Narcan at Swedish Medical Center in Englewood.

Narcan is the brand name for the Naloxone nasal spray the labor and delivery department will give out for free. It can reverse the effects of an overdose.

“It’s the perfect opportunity to provide resources for these moms,” said nurse navigator Mari Gambotto.

Gambotto said some at-risk patients may be given opioids after a C-section. Some may have an addiction or, “Maybe somebody had a prior injury, a cheerleading accident and has been on narcotics for the last 10 years,” she said.

All of those patients could be at risk. Doctors say overdoses in this group are a real issue.

“Overdose is either the first or second killer of pregnant mothers in Colorado and in the nation, depending on what year you look at the data. So, we are losing moms, pregnant moms and babies to overdose way, way too often,” said Dr. Don Stader, the chair of the Colorado Naloxone Project.

The group was already working to give Naloxone to every at-risk patient in Colorado emergency departments, and now the program has expanded with this labor and delivery pilot program.

“The most dangerous time for a mom is right after she delivers,” Stader said.

Only a small percentage of patients ever fill a prescription for Naloxone. These patients can take the Narcan home and train their relatives or friends how to use it, just in case.

“It’s a way to save a life in the case of emergency, but the bigger solution is actually providing addiction treatment,” Stader said.

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