Assessment & Stimulation

OD Response

1.  Assess the signs
  • Is the person breathing?
  • Is the person responsive?
  • Do they answer when you ‘shake and shout’ their name?
  • Can the person speak?
  • How is their skin color (especially lips and fingertips)?
2.  Stimulation
  • Sternal Rub

    Sternal RubPhoto: N.O.M.A.D (Not One More Anonymous Death)

    If the person is unconscious or in a heavy nod, try to wake them up:  Call his or her name and/or say something that they might not want to hear, like “I’m going to call 911” or “I’m going to give you naloxone.”

  • If this does not work, try to stimulate him or her with pain by rubbing your knuckles into the sternum (the place in the middle of your chest where your ribs meet), rubbing your knuckles on their upper lip. The sternum is preferable over the upper lip, because the person may have dental problems, or prosthetic teeth that may cause pain or unnecessary discomfort when rubbed vigorously. However, if the person is in a position where you cannot get to their sternum easily, or if they are wearing multiple layers of heavy clothing, rub the upper lip area.
  • If this causes the person to wake up try to get him or her to focus. Can they speak to you? Check their breathing. If this is shallow or the person tells you have he or she has shortness of breath, or chest tightness call 911. Continue to monitor them, especially the breathing and pulse and try to keep him or her awake and alert.
  • If the person DOES NOT respond to stimulation and remains unconscious or the condition appears to get worse, do NOT try a different or alternative form of stimulation. Treat this as an emergency and call for help!
Next Page: Call for Help!
Designed & Developed by Firefly Partners