Video of Officer Collapsing After Handling Dust Arouses Suspicion


A dramatic video A report published by the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department that showed an intern fainted while investigating a substance he believed was fentanyl was met with skepticism by medical and addiction experts.

The video, released by the department on Thursday to illustrate the dangers of fentanyl, shows body camera footage of David Faiivae, 32, collapsed in a parking lot shortly after handling a white powder suspected to be cocaine or fentanyl on July 3. Sheriff’s Department said.

After Faiivae’s deputy fell behind, field training officer Cpl. Scott Crane gave him doses of Narcan, a nasal spray containing naloxone, a drug used to combat the effects of an opioid overdose. MP Faiivae did not react to Narcan and was taken to hospital by emergency medical workers and later recovered.

The video was part of the San Diego sheriff’s effort to raise awareness about the incident. increased fentanyl overdose rates The importance of carrying naloxone not only in the county, but across the country and saving those who may overdose. But medical professionals said it was impossible to overdose on fentanyl through exposure alone, and suggested that misinformation about high contact levels didn’t help much in curbing the opioid crisis.

D., medical director of toxicology and addiction medicine at University Hospitals in Cleveland. “The only way to overdose is by injecting, snorting, or otherwise swallowing it,” said Ryan Marino. “You can’t overdose from secondhand contact.”

Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic drug well widely traded in illegal markets. Its potency can change, especially when mixed with other substances, making it easy to overdose in very small amounts.

A psychiatrist at Zucker Hillside Hospital in Queens, Dr. Scott Krakower said it doesn’t take a lot of fentanyl to do harm. Not knowing the potential of fentanyl can quickly lead to overdose symptoms if someone accidentally sniffs it.

An opioid overdose tends to leave victims with shallow, almost undetectable breathing, limp limbs, blue lips and fingertips, and wheezing sounds from the mouth, said Leo Beletsky, professor of law and health sciences at Northeastern University in Boston.

He added that it is “biologically impossible” to experience or die from overdose symptoms from touching or being exposed to the drug, and that alternative explanations to MP Faiivae’s response could result in great stress and panic among law enforcement officials over this issue. .

Professor Beletsky said most opioids take 30 to 90 minutes to become fatal, and a fentanyl overdose can be fatal within 10 to 15 minutes. He explained that the only way to get fentanyl into his body through someone’s skin is to use medically prescribed fentanyl patches for pain, and these have resulted in very few fatal overdoses.

He added that, like MP for Faiivae, reactions to fentanyl were only reported by police departments or drug administrations, and rarely did a toxicology report or medical follow-up show that an officer actually overdosed on fentanyl.

The Sheriff’s Department said a full report on what was found in the car won’t be available until Monday. In body camera footage, one of the men can be heard saying that the substance “tested positive for fentanyl.”

The Sheriff’s Department said Deputy Faiivae and Corporal Crane were on vacation; He could not be reached on Saturday.

A report on the risks of incidental exposure to fentanyl found that police and other officials, including the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, were posting false information about how fentanyl can be found in the body and what causes an overdose, supporting the idea that a small amount of fentanyl is absorbed through the skin. can be fatal.

Addiction experts and harm reduction experts said this misunderstanding can delay life-saving aid in overdoses and cause emergency responders to report indirect trauma, compassion fatigue and panic attacks from fear of drugs.

Dr. While it is well-intentioned to try to provide a public health advice, “such misinformation is absolutely harmful,” said Professor Beletsky, who is co-author of the report with Marino.

“It misrepresents the signs and symptoms of overdose,” he said. “It also adds to the already very high levels of stress, burnout and anxiety among law enforcement.”

It also gets in the way of responding appropriately when someone experiences an overdose of fentanyl.

“If people think they can die from an overdose from providing emergency assistance, it can cost lives,” said Professor Beletsky.


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