Chief of Police
2 Mudge Way
Bedford, MA 01730
For Immediate Release
Wednesday, September 24, 2014
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Bedford Police Use Narcan to Revive Overdose Patient Who Crashed Car
Driver Survived, Was Charged with OUI
BEDFORD — Police Chief Robert Bongiorno announces that the Bedford Police Department on Tuesday used Narcan for the first time since outfitting all of its cruisers with the potentially lifesaving drug in June.
On Tuesday, September 24, 2014, at about 1:30 a.m., Bedford Police Sergeant Paul Saunders was on patrol on Crosby Drive near the Middlesex Turnpike when he came upon a gray Volkswagen GTI with New Hampshire plates that was stopped in the opposing lane, facing traffic.
Sergeant Saunders approached the vehicle and observed that the car was running and a man was unconscious in the driver’s seat. He was unresponsive and had slow, labored breathing. Sergeant Saunders pulled the driver out of the car, secured the emergency brake, began first aid, and called for backup and Fire and EMS to respond. Officer Kristen Dineen arrived quickly and observed, in plain view, a bag of syringes and a bag of fine powder believed to be heroin.
Sergeant Saunders prepared a dose of Nasal Narcan and administered it to the driver.
The Bedford Fire Department Ambulance and Armstrong Ambulance paramedics arrived a few minutes later and gave the patient a second dose of Narcan. By the time the patient was loaded into the ambulance, he began to come around.
Investigating officers determined that the driver was headed north on Crosby Drive when his vehicle struck the center median and stopped in the opposite lane. The car had a flat tire and significant wheel and undercarriage damage.
The driver, a 22-year-old man from Merrimack, N.H. was transported to Lahey Hospital and Medical Center in Burlington and subsequently charged with drug possession, operating under the influence of drugs, operating to endanger, and a marked lanes violation.
“The Bedford Police Department completed advanced emergency medical training over the summer, knowing that heroin and drug overdoses are problems in every community,” Chief Bongiorno said. “In this case, an alleged drug addict crashed in Bedford completely by accident, but because our officers are trained and equipped to respond to heroin and drug overdose cases, we are not today dealing with a death in our community. I am proud of the hard work and quick thinking shown by our officers.”
Opioid overdose is now one of the leading causes of death in Massachusetts, leading Governor Deval Patrick to declare it a public health crisis in March.
Narcan, the brand name for Naloxone, is an “opioid antagonist,” which means it displaces opioid from receptors in the brain and can immediately reverse the effects of an overdose. Narcan has few side effects, and it will not harm a patient who has not overdosed. Nasal Narcan does not use needles/sharps, further increasing its safety. Narcan can be used to reverse heroin overdose, as well as overdoses of OxyContin, Percocet, Percodan, and hydrocodone drugs like Vicodin.
For information on arraignment or court appearance details, please contact the Middlesex County District Attorney’s Office.
These are allegations. All suspects are considered innocent until proven guilty.