As surgeons and anesthesiologists, we provide care for both transplant recipients and organ donors. The process of harvesting organs is always an emotional experience but one of the most difficult cases we have recently seen was the harvesting of organs from a young teenager who died as a result of fentanyl overdose. As health care workers, nothing can prepare us for a tragedy such as this. We cannot describe how emotionally challenging it is to harvest the organs of a perfectly healthy child who died from one mistake, a death that should not have occurred, a death that was preventable. As members of the transplant team, we have witnessed many tragic losses like this case and sadly, the number continues to rise. During the first quarter of the year, the number of fentanyl related deaths in Alberta jumped 61% compared to last year. Alberta is now in a position of declaring a public health emergency due to the increasing number of fentanyl related deaths.
“Doctors Against Tragedies” is a team of physicians, residents and medical students who are taking an innovative approach to teach the public about fentanyl use.
Inspired by Cards Against Humanity, this party game is designed to save lives. Unlike most social awareness campaigns, Doctors Against Tragedies is fun and educational. We are not here to scare you. We just want you to know the facts. The game is simple. Read the card and try to answer it.
Our goal is to raise awareness of fentanyl related deaths and to educate the public on both the negative and positives of fentanyl use. Many social awareness campaigns rely on fear tactics. Instead, our approach is to explain what fentanyl is, how it is used in a hospital setting and the dangers of its misuse. We aim to demystify the myths about fentanyl and provide accurate information in a creative way – through playing games!
We would like to thank the Alberta Medical Association and Canadian Medical Association for the Emerging Leaders in Health Promotion Grant.