EAST LIVERPOOL, Ohio (KDKA/AP) — Police say an Ohio officer suffered an accidental overdose after a drug arrest when he touched powder on his shirt without realizing it was the powerful opiod fentanyl.
Patrolman Chris Green assisted in searching a vehicle operated by Justin Buckel, where suspected drugs were found scattered about near East Liverpool Friday night.
Green patted the man down, noticing he was covered in a white powdery substance, which police now believe was the opioid fentanyl, 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine.
Fentanyl can be absorbed through the skin, and a few specks can kill an adult.
The officer did not wear gloves, but says he otherwise followed protocol.
An hour after the officers returned to the police station, Buckel said he was not feeling well and an ambulance was called.
Then, as officers were standing around and talking, someone told Green he had some powder on his shirt, and he brushed at it with his hand to wipe it off.
“I started talking weird. I slowly felt my body shutting down. I could hear them talking, but I couldn’t respond. I was in total shock. ‘No way I’m overdosing,’ I thought.”
A fellow officer grabbed Green as he began to fall to the floor. The paramedics previously called to the station for Buckel began tending to Green, immediately giving him a dose of the opioid antidote Narcan.
A total of four doses of Narcan had to be administered to completely revive him.
Buckel is expected to be charged with felonious assault in relation to the exposure from the suspected drugs.
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