Pharmacy grad recounts story of responding to emergency overdose
Pharmacy grad recounts story of responding to emergency overdose

Bo Jansa, PharmD’19, was having a busy week. But, as many recent pharmacy graduates will attest, that’s not uncommon in the business.

What isn’t common is what happened to Jansa just before closing one night last summer.

Jansa, who completed his pharmacy studies at Creighton University last May, had just taken over as interim manager of a Walgreens specialty store in St. Paul, Minnesota. One night in late August, as he and another pharmacist prepared to close the store, a man rushed in, frantic and short of breath.

“Can you please help me?” Jansa recalled the man saying in a social media post written shortly after the incident. “My son is in the car, and he overdosed, and he’s unconscious.”

While the other pharmacist dialed 911, Jansa and the man raced to the car, where the man’s son lay in the passenger seat. Jansa administered naloxone, sold under the brand name Narcan, via nasal spray and checked the man’s breathing and heart rate.

“We’re taught how to do something, and in the back of your head you never think you’ll have to do it,” Jansa says of his emergency medical training. “Lo and behold, this situation happens, and you’ve just got to do what you’re trained to do.”

Fortunately, Jansa’s pharmacy is located a short distance away from a local EMS station, and crews arrived quickly. After a second dose of naloxone, the color returned to the man’s skin and he regained consciousness.

“After (his son became) conscious, the father told me that his son used to be a straight-A student, he used to be happy and had his life together,” Jansa wrote. “Now, after five years of going in and out of rehab, the father is trying to do what’s best for his son.”

Jansa says he hasn’t heard from the family since the incident and isn’t sure of the man’s current condition. The post he shared about that night caught the attention of many on social media, generating more than 1,200 interactions and 70 comments.

Overall, Jansa says he credits his Creighton education with giving him the tools to respond to the situation.

“We’re taught that, at any point in time, we can go above and beyond,” he says. “And we’re told that we should do it.”

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