Sudden Death 6:
Dealing With Sudden Death
The most important thing to remember when someone around you experiences sudden death, is that in the vast majority of cases, the victim can be saved. Do not just give up. In the song "Street Hassle" by Lou Reed, the narrator says,
When someone turns that blue
It is a universal truth
And you just know that bitch
Will never fuck again.
The problem with this is that it is not true, and the woman in the song would probably survive if the others around her were more knowledgeable and (probably more important) caring.
Most "official" sources will tell you that the first thing you should do in the event of a sudden death is call 9-1-1. I think that this is a judgment call. There are situations when you should call 9-1-1, but in most cases it is not necessary. Below is a table and a list of guidelines on what you should do if someone you are with has a negative reaction after ingesting heroin. But bear in mind that these are my opinions based upon my experiences. You may want to be more conservative, and always call 9-1-1. It is up to you; in the end, what is most important is helping the person in danger.
|HEROIN helper Recommendations|
|State of Victim||What You Should Do|
|Frothing at the mouth||Call 9-1-1|
|Stopped Heart||Perform CPR|
|Stopped Breathing||Perform CPR|
|Stopped Heart (3+ minutes)||Call 9-1-1|
|Stopped Breathing (3+ minutes)||Call 9-1-1|
|Convulsing||Put in safe place|
|Convulsing (3+ minutes)||Call 9-1-1|
|Labored Breathing||Watch closely|
|Can't wake||Watch closely|
|Important: CPR should only be performed by someone who is properly instructed; improperly administered CPR can harm the person being helped.|