Salisbury Press

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

County reports first use of Naloxone

Thursday, February 25, 2016 by CONTRIBUTED ARTICLE in Police Log

Salisbury Township police reported the first case in Lehigh County in which Naloxone was used to reverse a heroin overdose since a Naloxone administration program recently was established.

Sgt. Donald Sabo said police were dispatched 4:51 p.m. Feb. 9 to a location because of a report of a 39-year-old man in cardiac arrest. In less than three minutes, multiple officers arrived at the scene.

The man was found on the bathroom floor of a residence. He was not breathing, he had constricted pupils and his skin was blue. A bag valve mask and sternal rub were used but were not successful in reviving the man.

When the man did not respond to stimuli, two milligrams of Narcan were given via nasal atomizer. There was no response, but the man had a pulse. In about three minutes, police administered another two milligram dose of Narcan by nasal atomizer.

After several minutes, the man started to breathe on his own and was able to speak. The man said he had used three bags of heroin that day. No drugs or paraphernalia were found at the scene and no arrests were made, Sabo said.

A provision in the Pennsylvania Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act provides immunity from criminal prosecution to encourage the reporting of overdoses.

The man was transported to a hospital for additional care, according to Sabo.

Late last year, Lehigh County police departments entered into memorandums of understanding with the district attorney’s office regarding the Naloxone administration program.

The opiate antidote was supplied to police departments through an initiative of the district attorney’s office, the Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs, the Pennsylvania District Attorney’s Association and Capital BlueCross.

The PDAA received a grant from Capital BlueCross to help district attorneys in the 21 counties in which it does business to acquire a supply of Naloxone for their police departments.