Todayville Edmonton supports local community efforts, the original source of this writing from: https://www.facebook.com/justaguywithapack
The day has been like any other (we see anywhere from 50 to 80 users per day). My attention is piqued by a sound, almost like a wheeze but accompanied by the heavy beating sound of a drum. That sound is a man violently hitting his chest.
This is the beginning of an overdose.
The man is standing and rocking back and forth, almost like a dance. This is normal for a person who is using drugs mixed with crystal meth and / or cocaine.
I look at the computer to see what he says the drug is and it says “fentanyl” which is a usual drug for him.
He is now starting to sweat profusely and it looks as though he has just finished running a marathon.
I call the nurse and tell her of my observations so far. He is now matching a person who is starting the scary road of overdose.
I approach and place my hand on his shoulder, it’s hot to the touch and sweat glistens on my medical glove. I ask him, “How’s it going buddy?” He cannot respond to me. He is still standing but his pupils are dilated and he’s rocking back and forth. What is missing is his breath, his voice, and his normally calm demeanor. His lips are turning a shade of blue/purple.
The nurse is now approaching after putting on gloves. I give her as much relevant information as I can before I prepare to step back and take an assistance role in the overdose situation.
I have been trained for years to do emergency response. I went to school for this. I cope with the stress by repeating directions and documenting the times and dates for
the significant markers that I know are about to follow.
He gets an SPO2 monitor put on his finger. This little machine gives the nurse information about his heart rate and how much oxygen is in his blood. As we wait in anticipation for the monitor to tell us his number I just keep hoping, wishing it is above the magic number of 66%. However, anything below 90% and the nurse will start to offer means to reverse or help ride out the overdose. Without oxygen getting to the brain there is a chance for brain damage.
His number is low and the nurse makes the call – “Chris I need the oxygen tank and you to predraw naloxone.” I repeat the instructions back so nothing is missed in the communication. This man’s life is in our hands.
The nurse has now put oxygen on the man and is reminding him to breath. He is now in a seated position and you can see the determination on his face to get that gasp of air. He can, and my inner being is cheering yes, you can do it; you can beat the overdose and come back. But the reality of the situation is the gasp is not even close enough to raise his oxygen levels out of the danger zone.
The nurse now asks him, “Do you want narcan?” My heart leaps with joy. This will help you, we can get off this ride, you have a way to get air! But his response is “no” and the cold reality of addiction slaps me in the face. The “no” “not yet” words were whispered as almost as a plea out of fear. My stomach is wrenched out and my heart that was just hurting before is now broken.
My thoughts stray.
What are you running from that not being able to breathe and having no control over your body is a better option?
I check myself.
I will never know someone’s past or their current pain unless they share it with me. When he recovers from this overdose, he might tell me.
So I patiently plea with the man. Your oxygen is low, you are in pain, and you are overdosing. Let us give you narcan so you can come back to us. Also, in the next room we have snacks.
With the oxygen remaining low the nurse makes it clear to the man naloxone is now needed and she informs him that we will be administering the medication. Recognition is now on the man’s face – he now understands and gives consent by nodding yes to the nurse. The nod reminds me of the many nods I’ve seen athletes give their coaches when they are ready to start the fight.
One of the staff hands me a needle ready and filled with the antidote to opioids. The next challenge begins. Since the man is moving so much it takes a few tries to get the needle in and the medicine administered. It takes 3 vials of narcan to reverse whatever the drug has done to his system.
The first words out of the man’s mouth are “I am sorry.” Here is why I do what I do. This is the moment where he may say to me “Chris, I am tired of all this and I need help. That shot almost killed me and I need to change my life.” In reality we talk: where he is living, what his plan is for his next meal. These conversations will lead to a better connection and understanding of his life story. They will build trust between us so when he’s ready, he will ask me for help.
He has now successfully recovered from the overdose and will now hang out for the next while in case the antidote wears off and he overdoses again.
My name is Chris Hancock and my current role is a harm reduction support worker.
This is what overdose reversals means to me. An opportunity to save and change a life.
Police arrest two more people following killing of eight-year-old girl in Alberta
An Edmonton Police Service logo is shown at a press conference in Edmonton, Oct. 2, 2017. Police in Edmonton have charged two more people following the killing of an eight-year-old girl whose remains were found on a First Nation south of the provincial capital in April. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Police in Edmonton have charged two more people following the killing of an eight-year-old girl whose remains were found on a First Nation south of the provincial capital.
Officers responded on April 24 to a welfare call about the girl at an Edmonton home but were unable to locate her.
Her remains were discovered five days later on the Samson Cree Nation in Maskwacis.
Shayden Lightning, who is 21, and Raighne Stoney, who is 36, have been charged with being an accessory to murder and causing an indignity to a body.
Three others were initially charged in the case.
Police are not releasing the names of two of the accused in order to protect the identities of other children related to the victim, whose identity is under a publication ban.
A 27-year-old woman faces a charge of first-degree murder and a 25-year-old man faces charges of being an accessory to murder and causing an indignity to a body.
Edward Nievera, 67, was charged with being an accessory to murder and causing an indignity to a body.
Edmonton police Staff Sgt. Colin Leathem said in a release Friday that the recent arrests will be the last in the case and that the investigation has concluded.
“We want to thank the RCMP in Maskwacis and Wetaskiwin for their assistance with this investigation,” he said. “Needless to say, this was an exceptionally distressing investigation to work on, and they went above and beyond in helping to facilitate these final arrests and bring this file to conclusion.
“While nothing can change the horror of what occurred, we hope (the arrests) can provide some measure of justice to those who knew and loved this little girl.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 22, 2023.
Police investigate 22 shootings across city in month of August
News release from the Edmonton Police Service
The Edmonton Police Service continues to investigate 22 reported shooting occurrences in the month of August.
Of the 22 occurrences, 18 are believed to be targeted offences and not random in nature. Ten of the 22 shootings resulted in injuries, and in 19 of these shooting incidents, there was the potential for innocent bystanders, including children, to be harmed. There were three deaths as a result of shooting occurrences in August, one of which was self-inflicted.
Nine incidents involved shots being fired at a person, four shots were firedat residences, another four shots were fired into the air, two shots were fired at vehicles, two shots were accidentally discharged and one was self-inflicted.
Compared to August 2022, August 2023 shooting occurrences are up by 36%. There have been 152 reported shooting occurrences year to date, a 32% increase from last year at this time. Edmonton Police Service members have also seized 679 firearms year to date.
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