Skip to main content

Deputies use this tool to reverse heroin overdoses – except they don't all work right now

The company sent new kits, but they were apparently defective too.

Sheriff's deputies in Hennepin County are among the law enforcement agencies that carry a drug to help quickly reverse the effects of heroin overdoses.

This is seen as an important tool, especially as the number of opioid-related overdose deaths in the county continues to rise. But there's one problem right now. Some of the tools those deputies use to spray the naloxone (the name of the drug) into an overdose victim's nose don't work right.

They were recalled because they make the medicine come out like a stream �� rather than a misty plume, like it's supposed to. This could mean not enough of the overdose reversal drug gets into the person's system, so it might not work.

Twenty percent of the sheriff's office's overdose tools are affected.

“I expect 2016 will be a record-breaking year for overdose deaths in the county,” Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek said in a news release Thursday. He noted through October 2016 there were 106 fatal overdoses from opioids – that's up 25 percent from the same period the year before.

"Due to this tragic increase, I consider this recall issue to be of the highest importance. We are dealing with an epidemic, and we need all the help we can get to save lives," Stanek added.

What happens now?

Stanek continues to call on Teleflex Medical, the company that makes the device, to replace the defective ones.

Teleflex sent two shipments meant to fix the problem, but they ended up being part of the recalled bunch, Stanek said.

"We are in the business of saving lives, and it is difficult to do that if we can't rely on equipment being sent to us," Stanek added, calling this "incredibly frustrating."

The sheriff's office did say it has enough working tools to be "operationally effective," but it isn't operating at 100 percent.

Stanek is now personally calling on Teleflex to "ensure a return to 100 percent functionality for first responders" who use the tool, the news release says. Reportsindicate that the devices are on back order, and Teleflex is releasing them as they become available.

The Hennepin County Sheriff's Office administered naloxone seven times in 2016, the release says. No one has died due to the defective devices, the Star Tribune reports.

Next Up

monkeypox virus

Minnesota up to 6 confirmed cases of monkeypox virus

Most people recover at home within 2-4 weeks.

thc edibles

Did Minnesota just accidentally legalize THC?

A Republican lawmaker who voted to approve the new law in May is already talking about rolling it back.

Screen Shot 2022-06-30 at 3.19.42 PM

Gasoline may be cause of sewer explosion on U of M campus

An all-clear was given around 9 p.m. Thursday, with residents in the area allowed to return to their homes.

image

Overwhelming demand for THC products on first day of new law in MN

One shop owner said his Chaska store broke the online sales record before they opened Friday morning.

Flickr - Lake Minnetonka boat - Greg Gjerdingen

Increased drunk boating enforcement over 4th of July weekend

The increased enforcement is part of the Operation Dry Water initiative.

Kayak

Four kayakers stranded, rescued in Chisholm park

The kayakers became stranded at Redhead Mountain Bike Park Thursday afternoon.

SherburneCoJailDrugArrests

Duo charged after 10-pound meth package sent to wrong address

More than 10 pounds of meth are off the street thanks to a delivery error.

Screen Shot 2022-07-01 at 11.01.32 AM

Bird Rides' suburban expansion continues in Minnesota

Its scooter season in Minnesota. The latest on where you can find Bird e-scooters:

Flickr - police lights squad siren - Edward Kimmel

Man found dead with 'trauma to his face' in St. Paul

A man was found dead with "trauma to his face" in St. Paul after 3 a.m.

Hibbing ambulance

Boyfriend jailed after woman found dead in Hibbing

The woman was found dead on Tuesday, June 28.

ambulance

2 motorcyclists killed in crash near Duluth

The crash happened at a curve in the road north of Duluth.

Life Link

18 injured in two separate crashes involving teen drivers

The crashes happened Thursday in Ham Lake and North Branch Township.

Related

Eden Prairie police save man's life with overdose reversal drug

The man was found on the ground, unconscious, and having trouble breathing.

Sheriff: 6 separate heroin overdoses in Anoka Co. in 12 hours

Commander Paul Sommer says six cases between 5:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. is an "alarming anomaly."

Update: 11th person fatally overdoses on elephant tranquilizer

Carfentanil is 10,000 times more powerful than morphine.

Drug dealer found guilty of murder in heroin overdose

She's been charged with three other overdose deaths, too.

Sexual assault victims don't need to pay for exams – but many still don't get one

About 1,400 people each year were treated in Minnesota hospitals for sexual violence from 2010 to 2014.