What is your risk management position on having NARCAN in the chapter house in case of suspected overdoses?
NARCAN Nasal Spray is a prescription medicine used for the treatment of a known or suspected opioid overdose emergency with signs of breathing problems and severe sleepiness or not being able to respond.
We have discussed this as a department, and our position is a balancing act between expectations and liability. While there isn’t anything in the insurance policies that would exclude coverage for someone who was found negligent in either the administration or non-administration of NARCAN, our biggest concern is the responsibility that it places on the members who might be in a position to administer it. That said, if it becomes the norm on a campus that all residential units, including Greek Houses, have NARCAN, then that could become the standard that you would also want to abide by.
If you decide to move forward, then we recommend making sure the members understand that it isn’t foolproof. It would still be possible for someone to overdose on the property if no one is around to administer it, or if they don’t have the training to be able to safely deliver it. All of the members would need to understand that anyone who has been administered NARCAN still must seek emergency medical care, as the life‐saving effects of NARCAN can wear off before the drug leaves the victim’s system.
We would also recommend that if you are going to allow a chapter to have NARCAN, that it be the nasal spray, rather than the injectable, because there is a lower risk of injuring someone by administering it. Other things to consider include: is it readily available to continue to replace and is it cost prohibitive to do so?
Another thought has to do with what the chapter’s life-safety responsibility really is as a private organization. For example, is it the chapter’s responsibility to supply other life-saving items, such as Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs), EpiPens for allergic reactions, or even emergency insulin for diabetics that might be on the premises? Why just the supply of NARCAN, but not all the other emergency life-saving tools?
All this to say, MJ doesn’t have a firm stance or position either way. There is liability coverage for you should you decide to supply NARCAN kits, but it is our opinion that it is not your responsibility as a private organization. This is definitely a tough question! Hopefully some of the thoughts above help you in your decision, and should you wish to discuss the liability concerns further, please do not hesitate to contact us.