Hospitals prepare for spike in heroin overdoses over holiday weekend

Hospitals prep for expected overdoses

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- Local hospitals are on high alert this holiday weekend for what’s expected to be a tornado of heroin overdoses in Metro Louisville. State health officials issued an urgent warning, saying a toxic batch of heroin is out on the street and guaranteed to cause more overdoses and possible death.

Local hospitals are ordering more drugs and increasing their weekend staff so that they are prepared for the possible influx.

“Each of our normal teams are covered as well as some float nurses to respond should things become overwhelming,” said Stephanie King, a nurse at Norton Hospital.

The nurse manager at Norton ordered 100 doses of Naloxone to keep the supply plentiful after seeing a spike in heroin overdoses earlier this week. The nurses said this batch of heroin is so potent, they have to administer three, sometimes even five times the normal amount of Naloxone dosages to save patients' lives.

“It's very concerning. It’s difficult when you have a much larger number than normal of overdoses coming in,” said King.

Healthcare officials said some users are shooting up in the parking lot and garage of the hospitals because they expect to overdose and want to be closer to help.

“We end up finding them and resuscitating them,” said John Vereb, Nurse Manager at Norton Hospital.

The public health emergency has been physically and emotionally tolling on the Norton team, they said they're hoping people catch on and realize while heroin is always dangerous, this current crop can be irreversible.

“They need to take extra precaution and this is a great time to seek help too,” said King.

It's not just Norton increasing their staff and drug supply this weekend, all area hospitals have been advised to take precautions.


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