High number of opioid-related ER visits and overdoses reported in Windsor-Essex

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An alert has been issued after an increase in the number of opioid-related emergency department visits and substance use-related Emergency Medical Service calls.

The Opioid and Substance Use Notification System has identified the increase between July 28 and August 3.

Over this seven-day consecutive period, the system flagged a total of 11 opioid overdoses, eight of which involved fentanyl.

Nine of the opioid overdoses were reported by Windsor Regional Hospital, seven involving fentanyl and two were reported by Erie Shores Healthcare, one involving fentanyl.

“These values exceed our two and five-year historical averages for the current time-frame in question,” said a statement from the Windsor-Essex County Opioid and Substance Strategy.

During this same time period, there were also seven opioid non-overdoses reported by Windsor Regional Hospital, all of which involved fentanyl.

Alongside the ED visits, the system also identified seven consecutive days of substance-use related EMS calls over this time-frame, with a total of 18 calls received.

Partners involved in the WECOSS, including the WECHU, Windsor Regional Hospital, Essex Windsor-EMS, Erie Shores Healthcare, and Police Services, continue to monitor this increase and are working to understand more about these reported cases.