Is there an opioid overdose on board?

Jessica (Jessi) Gold, assistant professor of psychiatry at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis


You know that moment when you are driving by a car accident, and you can’t help but slow down to see what is going on? It is like your brain is telling you that you need to look even though your mind is saying it’s gruesome and not something you should want to see.

Now, imagine you have medical training. That look then becomes diagnosing and triaging, and what you can glean is a lot more than a grim picture.

This happens to me often and not just around car accidents. It is like my eyes have an aberrant salience mechanism to pick out medical emergencies no matter what else is going on.

I see the homeless man talking to himself and wonder about his psychiatric diagnosis. I hear a child choking on her food at a restaurant and prepare to do the Heimlich maneuver. I hear the words “is there a doctor on board?” on an airplane and, like any other emergency provider, run towards the hypothetical “fire” and not away.

No scenario stands out to me more than my experience recently on an airplane.

Read the full piece at Addiction Hope.

Leave a Comment

Comments and respectful dialogue are encouraged, but content will be moderated. Please, no personal attacks, obscenity or profanity, selling of commercial products, or endorsements of political candidates or positions. We reserve the right to remove any inappropriate comments. We also cannot address individual medical concerns or provide medical advice in this forum.