August 08, 2018

COLUMBUS, OH — A study conducted by researchers with the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (The National Registry) and The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center shows a significant increase in EMS administration of naloxone during a recent five-year period. Naloxone is a life-saving drug that can quickly reverse the effects of an opioid overdose.

The report, published in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, states the rate of naloxone administration events increased by 75.1 percent from 2012 to 2016. That mirrors the nearly 80 percent increase in opioid overdose deaths in the U.S. during the same time.

“This important work shows the National Registry has an impact beyond the test you take,” said Dr. Robert Swor, Chairperson of the National Registry. “EMS professionals can contribute to and participate in research on a daily basis. The work EMS professionals put into documentation directly contributes to improving public health in our communities.”

While naloxone administration is not a perfect predictor of an opioid overdose, this report demonstrates that data from the National EMS Information System’s (NEMSIS) National EMS Database could be a valuable tool in finding ways to prevent future overdoses and overdose deaths.

Dr. Ashish Panchal, the study’s senior author, stressed that EMS professionals should understand and appreciate that their work on the front lines has a much larger impact than they may realize.

“Our research highlights importance of EMS data in helping to define public health problems – in this case the opioid overdose epidemic, said Dr. Panchal, Research & Fellowship Director for the National Registry and Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine at The Ohio State University. “The data can be used to not only define the problem, but also develop better interventions.

The National Registry of EMTs has an active research department and a unique EMS Research Fellowship – an opportunity for EMS providers to be trained to perform research while obtaining a doctoral degree at The Ohio State University. Under the direction of Dr. Panchal, the research team partnered with researchers at National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to perform this work.

The MMWR and the complete study can be found here: LINK

About the National Registry
Since its founding in 1970, the National Registry of EMTs (National Registry) has offered the nation assurance that the men and women providing emergency treatment in the out-of-hospital setting are capable of providing the care that patients and their loved ones deserve. As the Nation’s EMS Certification organization, the National Registry provides psychometrically-valid proof of entry-level competence for Nationally Certified EMS personnel through rigorous cognitive and psychomotor examinations. National EMS Certification is offered at four levels and must be maintained biennially by demonstrating continued education and skills competence. To date, the National Registry has certified more than 1.8 million EMS professionals. To learn more about the National Registry please visit


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