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LASD - Los Angeles County Sheriffs Dept Information Bureau (SIB)
Wednesday December 20th, 2017 :: 08:01 a.m. PST


Sheriff’s Deps and Correctional Health Services Resuscitate Unresponsive Inmate After Apparent Drug Overdose (VIDEO)

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputies and Correctional Health Services Resuscitate Unresponsive Inmate After Apparent Drug Overdose

A 19-year-old man is alive today only after lifesaving efforts by Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputies, medical personnel from the Los Angeles County Department of Correctional Health Services, and Los Angeles City Fire Department Paramedics. The incident began on Tuesday, December 05, 2017 at the Inmate Reception Center (IRC). Several inmates had been processed into the facility and were awaiting housing assignments in a temporary holding cell.

During a routine welfare check of the inmates, Sheriff’s Department personnel discovered five inmates in the cell were unresponsive or disoriented. It was determined that one of the inmates was no longer breathing and had no signs of life. The custody personnel immediately began treatment and resuscitation efforts on the unresponsive inmate, while other personnel tended to four other inmates who were at various stages of medical distress.

During several dramatic minutes recorded on video, deputies and medical staff assigned to the county’s Correctional Health Services (CHS) performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) while awaiting additional medical personnel. A recently approved tool for the Sheriff’s Department called Naloxone, or more widely known by the brand name Narcan, was administered in conjunction with the ongoing lifesaving efforts. For more than five minutes, deputies and medical staff worked feverishly to revive the inmate, who continued to show no vital signs, while paramedics were called and responded.

Paramedics from the Los Angeles City Fire Department arrived and began additional treatment efforts. They intravenously administered an additional dose of Narcan to the inmate and after several seconds the man suddenly came back to life, demonstrating full vital signs.

The other four inmates were simultaneously undergoing medical treatment efforts, which also included the use of Narcan. All five inmates were transported to a local hospital. Four of the inmates were released from the hospital within 12 hours after completely recovering. The fifth inmate made a full recovery and was released from the hospital after an additional 24-hours of observation. All five inmates have since been released from custody of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD), with one inmate being transferred to another local law enforcement agency for an unrelated legal matter.

The investigation is continuing, but early information obtained indicates that one of the inmates was later found to be in possession of an opioid medication called Fentanyl he had secreted in a body cavity. It is believed he shared the potentially deadly drug with the four other inmates in the holding cell, apparently believing it was methamphetamine.

Fentanyl can be deadly in small doses. It is estimated that the amount of Fentanyl in the inmate’s possession could have caused harm or death to hundreds of people if exposed or ingested.

Recently Sheriff McDonnell implemented a landmark pilot program in an effort to address the growing opioid and heroin epidemic taking root in Los Angeles County by distributing Narcan nasal spray atomizers. This medication block the effects of opioids and reverses an overdose, and is being carried by several members of the Department at some of the Sheriff’s Stations as well as within the jail system.

Sheriff McDonnell has stated he believes it is important to not only focus on enforcement efforts, but to also address the root of the problem through drug prevention, intervention, and rehabilitation.

This incident makes it clear that the opioid and heroin epidemic can extend beyond the streets of our communities. In this case, it was able to reach into our controlled correctional environment.

To watch the entire video, please visit the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department official Facebook Page at (If you are unable to click on the link, please copy and paste the link onto your browser)

Forwarded By:

Sara Rodriguez, Deputy


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