Deputy Uses Narcan to Save Man’s Life
Spokane County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Alex Velikodnyy responded to a call in Medical Lake last Saturday to find an unconscious male and a Good Samaritan providing CPR. During the incident, Deputy Velikodnyy recognized the symptoms of a possible opiate overdose and administered Narcan, saving the man’s life. Deputy Velikodnyy was just issued the Narcan, part of an overdose reversal kit, and received training on its use the previous night from Medical Reserve Corps of Eastern Washington.
On September 2, 2017, at approximately 12:45 p.m., Spokane County Sheriff’s Deputy Velikodnyy responded to a report of an unconscious male in a carport area in the 900 block of E. Campbell St. in Medical Lake.
Arriving within 4 minutes, Deputy Velikodnyy located a Good Samaritan providing CPR to a male lying on the ground between two vehicles. Deputy Velikodnyy began to assess the male’s condition and found he wasn’t breathing and had no pulse. Deputy Velikodnyy took over CPR but the male’s condition did not change. Believing the symptoms were signs of an overdose, he asked the citizen to continue CPR while he retrieved his newly issued “Overdose Reversal Kit”, which contained Narcan.
He administered the Narcan and within a few seconds the male was breathing on his own and within a few more minutes, he was conscious. Fire and Medical Personnel arrived, took over care and transported the male to a local hospital for further treatment.
Deputy Velikodnyy received the kit, and training on its use, the previous night through a new grant-funded pilot program between the Medical Reserve Corps of Eastern Washington and local law enforcement.
Consisting of physicians, registered nurses, veterinarians, mental health professionals, and other volunteers, the Medical Reserve Corps of Eastern Washington is called upon to assist in responding to local and regional emergencies or disasters. Providing Narcan and training on its use aligns well with its mission.
Naloxone, brand name Narcan, blocks or reverses the effects of opioids (both medications and narcotics) including extreme drowsiness, slowed breathing, or loss of consciousness. Medical Reserve Corps of Eastern Washington’s grant, from the National Association of County and City Health Officials, provided for several hundred Narcan kits, which the Sherriff’s Office has 150 of, and associated training which allows Spokane County Sheriff’s Deputies and Spokane Valley Deputies to carry the opiate antidote.
Thanks to the grant, and due to the quick thinking and actions of the Good Samaritan and Deputy Velikodnyy, this incident ended with a life saved instead of a drug overdose death.
Medical Reserve Corps of Eastern Washington is funded by Spokane Regional Health District, as the two agencies share a common value to assist in responding to emergencies or disasters.
“This is a great example of the collaboration that can happen between public health and law enforcement to help reduce risk in our community,” said Dave Byrnes, coordinator for Medical Reserve Corps of Eastern Washington.
Referring to the nation’s opioid crisis, Sheriff Knezovich stated, “It’s a sad day when we have reached a point of an opioid epidemic in the United States where deputies need to carry Narcan to save people who’ve overdosed. We need to hold dealers accountable and provide effective long-term treatment if we truly want to prevent these overdose deaths.”