Doctor works to develop app to help victims of opioid overdose

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Doctor Mark Greenberg, who’s aa professor of anesthesiology and pediatrics at UCSD, was told once by a former surgeon general when it comes to the opioid crisis that one can either be a part of the problem or a part of the solutions.

“Approximately 100,000 deaths from drug overdose; the great majority of those was opioids and the great majority of those was fentanyl,” Greenberg said.

It was those words and talking to his own children is what made an app his latest brainchild.

“And my daughter said, ‘Well, you know, at a party we had a kid who we found blue and gurgling and we didn’t know what to do. Called 911. We sort of got him through, EMTs came gave him Narcan and he woke up. But really freaked us out.’ And I said, ‘What would’ve helped?’ And they said, ‘I wish we had an app.’ And I said ‘I’m going to make one,’” Greenberg said.

Greenberg and his team’s app is called ODrescueME.

It walks untrained people through how to do CPR and other basic lifesaving skills for opioid overdoses and other serious situations.

“So identifying if the victim is unconscious, then opening the air way and looking for breathing. If the patient is not breathing, you can elect to give two rescue breaths or go right to compressions,” Greenberg said.

The app also walks someone through how to administer Narcan or an AED if they have either one.

“Some of the participants; one of the things we did when we talked to them is, ‘Have you had any experience,’ and couple of people lost friends. One person lost three friends from fentanyl,” Greenberg said.

After completing a pilot study, Greenberg and his team are waiting for approval for a formal scientific study.

The hope is to get the app is to get on as many phones as possible.

“I mean the technology is so simple but not out there. I mean it’ll be a huge relief.” Greenberg said. “It’ll really make me feel good to get stories that lives were saved.”

Greenberg expects to hear back on the formal scientific study approval in a few weeks.

Currently, the team’s developed an Android version of the app but, they’re working on an iPhone version of the app.

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