Veterans Affairs Adding Narcan to AED Cabinets

May 31, 2019

Have you ever noticed the small cabinets on the walls in airports, schools, churches, employers, and many government buildings? They are called AED (Automated External Defibrillator) cabinets.  The Veterans Administration (VA) is looking to add Naloxone( Narcan), a drug that reverses an opioid overdose, to the AED cabinets.  The lifesaving drug has become readily available to law enforcement officers.  

Because Naloxone is a prescription drug, the VA had to work with The Joint Commission to approve guidelines for the AED Naloxone project. The Joint Commission requires the AED cabinets to be sealed and alarmed if someone opens the cabinet door, inspected daily, and refilled when the Naloxone kits expire.  The Joint Commission did not allow the VA to put the words "Narcan" or "Naloxone" on the cabinet doors to let the public know that the kits contained the drug, but the commission did allow the VA to add the letter "N".

So far, the Boston VA counts 132 lives saved through all three parts of its Naloxone project.

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