1 dead, 12 hospitalized in mass fentanyl overdose in California

14 January, 2019, 06:55 | Author: Sheila Harris
  • 1 dead, 4 in critical condition at mass overdose in California house

A "mass overdose" in a California home Saturday morning left one person dead and another 12 hospitalized after police say the victims may have ingested fentanyl, a powerful opioid.

An adult male was pronounced dead at the scene while 12 others - between ages 19 and 30 - were transported to Enloe Medical Center.

"Certainly there is potential for additional fatalities", O'Brien said.

" 'Upon arrival, Chico police officers found multiple individuals in what appeared to be life-threatening overdose conditions, ' Chico Police Chief Michael O'Brien said at a news conference".

According to O'Brien, eight people were admitted, four of whom are listed as being in critical condition. "It was a large mass casualty incident for us", Chico Fire Department Chief Steve Standridge told the Mercury News.

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In addition to that, two Chico police officers were taken to the hospital after they said they started to feel sick. Responding officers gave patients six doses of the opioid antidote naloxone while also administering CPR, he said.

He said that while it is still too early in the investigation to be sure, the likely cause of death and injuries is from consumption of the potent drug.

According to The Bee, O'Brien says Chico officers began carrying naloxone (the only anti-dote to a fentanyl overdose) in 2018 but, until recently, it has been used to reverse heroin overdoses. For now the home is being treated as a hazmat zone, but police say there is no immediate risk to neighbors. That home is now being treated as a haz mat site and no one is being allowed to enter without proper precautions. O'Brien said it's believed to have been a form of fentanyl that was mixed with another unknown substance. "That is changing unfortunately. and now we've have this MCI (mass casualty incident)...that concerns us all".

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is 80-to-100 times stronger than morphine, according to the US
Drug Enforcement Administration.

Fentanyl is the most commonly overdosed drug in America, according to a recent government report.

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