From a Snohomish Health District News Release.
First-ever coordinated data gathering yields important insights
The Snohomish Health District recently reached out to first responders, medical providers, community leaders, and local partners last month asking for help in collecting data about opioid overdoses.
Moving beyond the gathering of historical data, the effort convened representatives from across the county to voluntarily collect real-time data on overdoses for one week and share the results with the Health District.
The result: reports of 37 total overdoses in Snohomish County that appeared to be related to opioids, including three deaths.
While opioid data is typically fragmented across multiple sectors, and stale by the time numbers can be officially released, a phone call from an ABC News producer provided the chance to try out something new.
In preparation for an upcoming Nightline show airing later in August, the Health District and other jurisdiction across the country were asked to collect and share opioid overdose data from July 17-23.
“This entire process was eye-opening,” said Jefferson Ketchel, interim administrator for the Health District. “From the tremendous support and willingness by our partners to participate in the data collection, to the sobering numbers that just one week uncovered.”
Key takeaways from the data analysis:
- Based on preliminary reports, overdoses were predominantly related to heroin.
- Overdoses were evenly split amongst genders, with 18 females and 19 males.
- The youngest reported was 16 and the oldest was 52, with half of the overdoses being 21-30 years old.
- When looking at race, 73% were identified as White.
- Naloxone was administered in 70% of the reports, saving 24 lives.
- Nearly half of the overdoses occurred between noon and 6 p.m.
- Of the 37 overdoses, 38% did not have 911 called in response to their medical emergency.
It is important to note that the information collected was voluntary, so the data provided should not be construed as exhaustive or lab-confirmed. Discussions are underway on how to make short data collection periods like this one happen on a more regular basis moving forward.
The Snohomish Health District works for a safer and healthier community through disease prevention, health promotion, and protection from environmental threats.