Ambulance crews have been busy with a record number of emergency overdose calls this Wednesday, April 21. (BC Emergency Health Services)

Ambulance crews have been busy with a record number of emergency overdose calls this Wednesday, April 21. (BC Emergency Health Services)

B.C. paramedics responded to a record 138 overdose calls in a single day

Wednesday’s calls included 48 in the Vancouver Coastal Health region and 51 in Fraser Health

Paramedics marked a grim total Wednesday, the highest number of overdose calls in the province.

There were 155 people who died of suspected illicit drug overdoses in February according to B.C. Coroners Service said, making it one of the deadliest months to date.

However – this week – a call amount relative to that number was clocked in a single day in B.C. as paramedics responded to 138 potential drug overdoses April 21.

BC Emergency Health Services spokesperson Shannon Miller said she is unable to confirm whether or not the patients were resuscitated.

“What I will say though, is that when paramedics are called in for a potential drug overdose there is a 95 per cent chance of the patient surviving,” she told Black Press Media.

“What we’re trying to get out is for people to call 911 if they see someone potentially in need.”

RELATED: Fentanyl toxicity, carfentanil deaths spike: 165 fatal overdoses in 1st month of 2021

Wednesday’s calls included 48 in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 51 in all of Fraser Health, 24 in Vancouver Island Health, 13 in Interior Health and 2 in Northern Health.

B.C. appears to be on track to surpass last year’s 1,726 lives lost to illicit drug overdoses with 329 deaths recorded in the first two months of 2021.

Last year alone, BCEHS paramedics responded to more than 27,000 overdose calls.

READ MORE: B.C. announces historic half-billion-dollar funding for overdose crisis, mental health

READ ALSO: B.C. soon to see nurses prescribe opioid alternatives for drug users



sarah.grochowski@bpdigital.ca

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