Cardio-Pulmonary Disease Lung News Releases and Coverage Opioids Substance Use

New naloxone training app helps teach people how to save lives

New naloxone training app helps teach people how to save lives

Vancouver, December 18, 2017 – Healthcare workers and all British Columbians now have access to a simple online training app to teach and learn how to use naloxone – The project was spearheaded by a team from St. Paul Hospital’s (SPH) Emergency Department (ED), one of 614 sites across the province that distributes Take Home Naloxone kits.

“Naloxone is a key tool in our provincewide fight to save lives for those at risk of overdose,” said Judy Darcy, Mental Health and Addictions Minister. “I commend the emergency department team at St. Paul Hospital and their partners for their innovative work on this lifesaving tool that will make it easier for people to learn how to use Naloxone, and encourage people to have a kit on-hand so they can act quickly and confidently to save the life of friend, family or loved who has overdosed.”

The ED team worked with local companies Hello Cool World and Animikii, in conjunction with the SPH Rapid Access Addiction Clinic to develop the web app. The app uses information from Toward the Heart, a service of the BC Centre for Disease Control that administers the provincial Take Home Naloxone program. Funding was provided by St. Paul’s Foundation.

“When we started handing out naloxone kits in the St. Paul’s Hospital Emergency Department, we realized it was challenging to deliver consistent, high-quality training in a busy environment,” explains emergency physician Dr. Andrew Kestler. “We wanted training that could be accessed from an iPad in the hospital so it was easy for healthcare workers to deliver, even without a lot of previous experience with the kits.” The other goal was to develop training that would be accessible at home for people who use opioids and their families.

“The feedback we’re received so far has been incredibly positive,” says Dr. Kestler. “And we hope this app will help emergency departments and others dealing with the overdose crisis to train as many people as possible to save lives.”

In addition to providing training at the hospital site, people at home can also use the web app and get a certificate of completion that can be redeemed for a naloxone kit at a distribution site (locations listed here: Now anyone can learn how to administer naloxone or give themselves a refresher course, at their own convenience.

This project supports the work of the new Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions to combat the overdose crisis and save lives. The ministry is working with partners across sectors on a wide range of actions – spearheaded by the new provincial Overdose Emergency Response Centre – including increasing access to life-saving naloxone and opioid addiction treatments such as Suboxone, methadone and injectable hydromorphone, opening additional supervised consumption and overdose prevention sites, expanding access to drug checking services and proactively identifying and supporting people at risk of overdose into treatment.

Video of web app available for download here:

About the BCCDC’s Toward the Heart – Take Home Naloxone program

  • Currently there are 614 THN sites in BC including 58 emergency departments.
  • 57,349 Take Home Naloxone kits have been distributed since the program began in 2012.
  • 11,738 reports of naloxone uses and overdose reversals.

About Providence Health Care
Providence Health Care (PHC) is one of Canada’s largest faith-based health care organizations, operating 16 health care facilities in Greater Vancouver. PHC operates one of two adult academic health science centres in the province – St. Paul’s Hospital – performs cutting-edge research in more than 30 clinical specialties, and focuses its services on six “populations of emphasis”: cardio-pulmonary risks and illnesses, HIV/AIDS, mental health, renal risks and illness, specialized needs in aging and urban health and is home to the B.C. Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS.

About the BC Centre for Disease Control
The BC Centre for Disease Control, an agency of the Provincial Health Services Authority, provides public health leadership through surveillance, detection, treatment, prevention and consultation services. The Centre provides diagnostic and treatment services for people with diseases of public health importance, and analytical and policy support to all levels of government and health authorities. The BCCDC also provides health promotion and prevention services to reduce the burden of chronic disease and preventable injury. For more, visit  or follow us on Twitter @CDCofBC.

About St. Paul’s Foundation
St. Paul’s Foundation raises funds to support compassionate, inspired care at all Providence Health Care facilities in Vancouver, BC. The funds we raise help put patients first, through a collaborative approach that includes the best in clinical care, world-class research and education. Our care facilities include the globally renowned St. Paul’s Hospital, Holy Family Hospital, Mount Saint Joseph Hospital, St. Michael’s Centre, St. Vincent’s: Brock Fahrni, St. Vincent’s: Honoria Conway-Heather, St. Vincent’s: Langara, and Youville Residence. Providence Health Care facilities engage close to 8,000 doctors, health care providers, support staff and researchers who care for hundreds of thousands of British Columbians a year, from neo-natal to palliative. To learn more, visit

About Hello Cool World
Hello Cool World is a full service creative agency working internationally in the areas of health and wellness promotion, harm reduction and social justice. For more, visit

About Animikii
As an Indigenous-owned, digital agency, Animikii works with leading, Indigenous-focused organizations from all industries to drive positive change through technology. Animikii was founded in 2003 by Jeff Ward. For more, visit

– 30 –

For more information:

Elaine Yong
Senior Communications Specialist – Media Relations
Providence Health Care
Tel:  604-682-2344 extension 66987
Cell: 604-837-6003 (c)

Give us your comments and story ideas