Arlington Heights cops make first heroin overdose save

 
 
Updated 7/22/2015 6:00 AM
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  • This portable naloxone injection system is what Arlington Heights officers carry.

      This portable naloxone injection system is what Arlington Heights officers carry. Bob Chwedyk | Staff Photographer

Only a few months after all village officers were trained to use naloxone, on Tuesday the Arlington Heights Police Department made its first "save" - a teenager who had overdosed on heroin.

Arlington Heights police were the first to arrive at the home in the 0-100 block of Dryden Avenue after 1 p.m., where they found a 19-year-old woman ashen, with no voluntary respiration and only a faint pulse. A witness, who called 911, confirmed the woman was suffering from an opioid overdose.

The officer administered two doses of naloxone using the Evzio auto-injector that all Arlington Heights police officers carry in their squad cars. The woman regained consciousness shortly after the second injection of naloxone, a police department statement said.

Paramedics arrived moments later and took the woman to Northwest Community Hospital in Arlington Heights for further care. The woman's last known address was Schaumburg, but no more information about her identity is being released.

This was the first lifesaving use of naloxone by Arlington Heights police, officials said. Police were trained on naloxone injection in April.

"The police department commends all first responders who worked in unison to provide lifesaving efforts today," a news release said. "Their combined actions truly contributed to the victim surviving a near-fatal overdose."

All Arlington Heights police officers were trained by Live4Lali, a suburban heroin awareness nonprofit that also has a walk-in clinic in Arlington Heights. The group, co-founded by Chelsea Laliberte of Palatine who lost her brother Alex to an overdose in 2008, donated the kits to the police department earlier this year. Normally each kit would cost $300, but Live4Lali distributes them free to police after training sessions.

Several other suburban departments have been trained on how to administer naloxone and have saved lives of overdose victims in recent months.

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