Matthew J. King, Chief of Police
500 Great Road,
Littleton, MA 01460
For Immediate Release
Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Littleton Police and Fire Save Overdose Patient with Nasal Narcan
LITTLETON — Police Chief Matthew J. King and Fire Chief Scott Wodzinski are pleased to report that Littleton Police Officers and Firefighters were able to help reverse the effects of a potentially fatal overdose in a patient on Friday evening, using Narcan
Around 9:45 p.m. Friday, Sergeant Robert Raffaelo and his evening crew of officers responded to the parking lot of the Littleton Police Station, where a vehicle had pulled up, with the driver reporting his passenger had take drugs and become unresponsive.
The patient had a weak pulse and was not breathing. Police officers immediately began emergency medical procedures and administered oxygen and artificial respiration. A short time later, newly sworn-in Deputy Fire Chief Thomas Clancy arrived with Littleton Firefighters.
Clancy administered Nasal Naloxone, otherwise known as Narcan, to the patient. He quickly started breathing on his own again. The patient regained consciousness by the time he was loaded into a Littleton Fire Department ambulance. He was taken to a nearby hospital and is expected to survive.
This was one of eight overdoses to occur in Littleton in the past several months.
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 is an “opioid antagonist,” which means it displaces opioid drugs from receptors in the brain and can immediately reverse the effects of an overdose. Narcan is administered nasally, 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.
“Narcan is a lifesaving drug that has demonstrated its ability to make the difference in an overdose situation,” Chief King said. “Thanks to quick actions by Littleton Police Officers and Firefighters, and thanks to Narcan, we are not dealing with the tragic loss of life in this situation. But we are mindful that drug overdose is an extremely serious issue, and lifesaving methods are just pieces of the bigger puzzle, which includes education, prevention, and aggressive pursuit of drug traffickers and suppliers.”