'They just got so lucky': 7 people survive overdoses at the Lighthouse in Saskatoon
SASKATOON -- The Lighthouse says a tragedy was avoided on Thursday evening after seven residents overdosed and then were revived.
“We do some fairly consistent naloxone training with our residents and our staff here at the Lighthouse,” said fundraising and communications manager Anna Pacik.
“One of the people's lives was actually saved by a resident who had the naloxone training, and they administered the naloxone and then the person revived and of course then went into hospital.”
Pacik says the other six people were independent living residents at the facility, who all overdosed in the same room at the same time.
“They just got so lucky,” she said. “There was someone at their apartment who was able to come downstairs and let our staff know, and the staff went up and administered naloxone and saved all six people's lives,” she said.
EMS was called to the Lighthouse afterward to provide additional support.
Pacik says the incident shines a light on the lack of supports for people struggling with addictions and mental health issues in Saskatoon.
“Especially the ones that are just right on that edge of losing everything, including their lives to addictions,” she said. “There are so many people out there struggling right now.”
Director of public affairs for Medavie Health Services Troy Davies says they were called to the Lighthouse and administered additional narcan to some of the residents.
Six of the seven were taken to Royal University Hospital or St. Paul’s Hospital.
Davies says despite an increase in calls for overdoses during the pandemic, it’s rare to see this number of them in one spot at one time.
The Lighthouse staffing having Narcan kits was huge, Davies said.
“It's great training and great forethought and luckily the government passed this to have these Narcan kits available.”
People should know that anytime you take a drug you never know what's in it, Davies said.
“You're not talking to a doctor where you're getting your pills and subscriptions. You're dealing with a drug dealer, so you have to anticipate that you're taking your life in your own hands when you decide to do something that's potent.”
Staff member tests positive for COVID-19
The Lighthouse also confirmed that a staff member tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursda, and is self-isolating at home.
“There's always that concern, always concerned that it will spread to others,” said Pacik. “We just have to keep following those procedures outlined by the Ministry of Health, and we follow them fairly closely at The Lighthouse, as best as we can. There's always a chance that it will pop up again, and we do watch for those hotspots.”
The Lighthouse says contact tracing is underway and any staff that were a close contact with that worker are being advised to either self-monitor or stay home as well.
“We do have the health authority in doing testing for residents and staff every Wednesday,” said Pacik.