Home > Ambulance Stories > Medic Scribe

Fentanyl: The Real Deal
written by Medic Scribe on the 06th September 2018 at 11:39

Misinformation and inconsistent recommendations  regarding fentanyl have resulted in confusion in the first responder community.

Fentanyl Safety Recommendations for First Responders (Revised) from the Office of National Drug Control Policy.

It seems every week responders are getting exposed to Fentanyl, being rushed to the hospital, with many getting Narcan, all often without exhibiting any symptoms or symptoms no worse than lightheadedness and tingling hands.  

I have been told at scenes to be careful that just touching a speck of powder could kill me.

No, I say, that’s not true.

I have been writing about his for over a year now, and fortunately the The American College of Medical Toxicology and the American Academy of Clinical Toxicology, and even the first edition of the above document, helped correct much of the early damage done by the DEA’s first document, Fentanyl: A Briefing Guide for First Responders.

Fentanyl: A Briefing Guide for First Responders

Fentanyl Skin Exposure: An MD’s View

Fentanyl Exposure: The Toxicologist’s Take

Controversies and Carfentanil

Nocebo Effect

Falsehood Flies

Fentanyl Safety

To rectify this confusion, the government has released a new YouTube video called Fentanyl: The Real Deal.

Fentanyl: The Real Deal

One scene tells it all.

A police office gets some powder on his hands and screams “I got some on my hands!” and then gets all woozy.

His partner tells him, “Wash your hands.  You’ll be okay.”

And he is fine.

Here’s the bottom line:

Touching Fentanyl will not kill you.

If you get it on your hands, don’t touch your nose or eyes.

Wash your hands with soap.

Wear gloves.  If there is powder in the air, wear a mask and eye protection.

You do need to get narcan sprayed up your nose just because you were exposed

Only give naloxone to someone who is hypoventilating or with true signs of the opioid toxidrome syndrome.

Follow your treatment protocols.


 Originally posted at

Similar Stories

Light Weights – Heroin Math 2 (Why We Don’t Get Robbed of our Fentanyl) Posted on 18th August 2017
Testing for Fentanyl Posted on 07th September 2017
Intranasal Fentanyl Posted on 25th February 2012
Nocebo Effect Posted on 17th August 2017
Fact or Fiction Posted on 04th August 2017