WA: A suspected Fentanyl exposure sends three Spokane Police Officers to the hospital for treatment

KHQ News –

The report says that the officers used gloves and proper sanitization techniques with the pills, but still experienced symptoms from being in contact with the pills. After visual examination it is suspected that the pills were Fentanyl.

Three Spokane Police Officers had to receive medical attention after being exposed to a substance that is believed to be Fentanyl during an arrest.

On Monday Spokane Police Officers responded to a report of a man slumped over his steering wheel for at least two hours in the area of 400 W. Joseph Avenue. Two Field-Training Officers, each with a new recruit, were dispatched to the scene.

The officers identified a 29-year-old man who had an outstanding warrant for his arrest. While taking the man into custody, the officers found pills that resembled Oxycodone. One set of officers transported the man to jail while the other took the pills to an evidence facility.

While at the evidence facility, one officer reported having difficulties breathing. Medics were requested and both officers left the facility to get fresh air. The officers were treated on scene and then transported to a nearby hospital as a precaution. They showed symptoms of difficulty breathing, light headedness, and confusion. The Spokane Fire Department safely stored the pills in a container and decontaminated the patrol vehicle.

Additionally, the officer who transported the arrestee requested medics at the jail to evaluate the subject for potential adverse reactions to the pills. He did not require any additional medical treatment.

The involved officers were treated and released and it appears the exposure will not have any long term affects.

The report says that the officers used gloves and proper sanitization techniques with the pills, but still experienced symptoms from being in contact with the pills. After visual examination it is suspected that the pills were Fentanyl.

Fentanyl is a potent, synthetic opioid that is 100 times more potent that morphine. Doses as small as a 2mg (less than a grain of sand) can be fatal even when airborne or when touched and absorbed through the skin. In October, Spokane Police Chief Craig Meidl and Spokane Mayor Nadine Woodward joined the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, Bill Hyslop, and the Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration for this region to announce a coordinated Opioid/Fentanyl Outreach Initiative for the Greater Spokane Community.

The outreach seeks to inform the community about the public safety and public health threats caused by an increasing influx of deadly Fentanyl into Spokane and Eastern Washington. For more information on the outreach effort and what you need to know to be safe.

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