Jailers helping overdosing inmates hospitalized, likely due to fentanyl, Calif. cops say

Eight deputies and five inmates were hospitalized after being exposed to what California officials believe was fentanyl on Tuesday, media outlets report.

At about 5:30 p.m., officials say deputies found an inmate unresponsive in San Francisco County Jail No. 4 and began CPR and other “lifesaving measures,” the Los Angeles Time reported.

Paramedics arrived at the jail and administered Narcan, which is used to quickly reverse a drug overdose, to the inmate and four others with overdose symptoms, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

The five inmates were then taken to San Francisco General Hospital, The Chronicle reported.

Five deputies who were helping the inmates were exposed to the possible fentanyl and were hospitalized, according to KPIX.

Later, three other officers began showing overdose symptoms and were also taken to the hospital, KPIX reported.

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid used to treat severe pain and is 50 to 100 times stronger than morphine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

It’s sometimes produced illegally and added to heroine or cocaine to make it stronger, which can be extremely dangerous when the user is unaware it was added, the CDC says.

All of the deputies are recovering, and four have been released from the hospital, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The inmates are also recovering and officials are decontaminating the jail, The Chronicle reported.

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Bailey Aldridge is a reporter covering real-time news in North and South Carolina. She has a degree in journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.