Kimberley MacDonald wants you to know that you can get Lifeguard App information from any Northern Health employee.
MacDonald, a Substance Use and Resource Nurse with Northern Health in Dawson Creek, says it is the latest tool in the tool box for those in health services dealing with overdoses, and those facing addiction.
The Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA), in partnership with regional health authorities and Lifeguard Digital Health, has launched a new made-in-B.C. resource called the Lifeguard App earlier this summer.
“The launch of this new resource couldn’t have come at a better time,” said Judy Darcy, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions. “As we face down two public health emergencies – the overdose crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic – we must ensure that people who use drugs have the resources they need, when and where they need them. Knowing that the majority of people who use drugs use alone in shelters, hotels, or at home, in addition to the challenges of physical distancing, the Lifeguard App is a new and innovative approach that can directly link people to emergency responders if an overdose does occur.”
The app is activated by the user before they take their dose. After 50 seconds the app will sound an alarm. If the user doesn’t hit a button to stop the alarm, indicating they are fine, the alarm grows louder. After 75 seconds a text-to-voice call will go straight to 9-1-1, alerting emergency medical dispatchers of a potential overdose.
MacDonald underlines the key point is awareness.
"If you may not use, you likely know someone you does."
The Lifeguard App is now being added to the list of essential health and social sector interventions as part of the Overdose Emergency Response Centre’s comprehensive response to the sustained and widespread overdose activity in BC.