Rate of overdose patients increasing in Indiana emergency rooms, CDC report says

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – A new report from the CDC shows Indiana overdose numbers are higher than ever and it's having an impact on local emergency rooms.

In hospital emergency rooms alone, the CDC reports Indiana had a 35% increase in patients being treated from opioid overdoses from July 2016 through September 2017.

"With a lot of these patients, it’s not the first time that they’re suffering from these problems," said IU Health Trauma Surgeon, Dr. Jamie Coleman.

Dr. Coleman said the increase in overdose patients often creates a burden for already overloaded emergency departments.

"When we get these patients that are coming in for overdoes, a lot of times they need to stay for hours up to even days after," explained Dr. Coleman.

Across the Midwest, the CDC reports emergency rooms are seeing a 70% increase in overdose patients. Dr. Daniel Rusyniak, the medical director for the poison center said drugs mixed with fentanyl could be one reason for the huge spike.

"What people are using is so much more potent that they’re overdosing more often and more frequently," said Dr. Rusyniak

Diagnosing and treating overdoses could mean even longer wait times for other patients.

"A lot of these patients do have poly-trauma and they have to be worked up and we often times find other traumatic injuries," Dr. Coleman said.

The CDC recommended hospitals provide an alert system that notifies agencies of a spike in overdoses within a short time frame. They also recommended hospitals help patients find resources for recovery. IU Health and Eskenazi are part of Project Point that directs users with treatment. Click here for more.

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