• Ambulance company testing drug to treat pain while lowering addiction risk


    BOSTON - A local ambulance company that’s on the front lines of the opioid crisis is pioneering a new way to control pain during the ride to the hospital.  FOX25 got a first look at the pilot program that will avoid the dangerously addictive drugs.

    When first responders arrive on scene, one of the first priorities is dealing with the patient's pain.  Right now in an ambulance, the only way a paramedic can ease your pain is to use fentanyl or morphine, even for mild to moderate pain

    Brewster ambulance serves six cities and towns in southeastern Massachusetts and is launching a pilot program that will allow their paramedics to use a non-opiate based pain control medication.  That medication is Toradol.

    “This is more along the lines of a high dose Tylenol," said Brewster Clinical Director, Chris DiBona.

    Toradol is about 30 times stronger than aspirin and has no addictive properties.  Brewster ambulance lobbied the state and is being allowed to test it out over the next year. 

    “If we start to manage that pain early with non-opiates maybe we can pass that on to the hospital," said DiBona.

    On average, Brewster administers about 1,100 doses of fentanyl and morphine per year.  Brewster hopes by adding the new pain control medication, that number will go down, keeping more patients off the opiates that can lead to drug addiction.

    Brewster is currently training its paramedics on how to administer the new pain control medicine. They plan to begin using it in April.

    Next Up: