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Narcan Saves Pierre Man's Life

Kealey Bultena

A Pierre man is alive because first responders used a medication to reverse the effects of a drug overdose. Officials credit the drug Narcan for saving the man’s life.

South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley says emergency crews responded to a call in Pierre Monday night for a man who needed medical attention.

"CPR was administered, and the male was unresponsive. At that time, the emergency responders administered a dose of Narcan," Jackley says. "And what Narcan is is a drug overdose reversal agent."

Jackley says the medicine resuscitated the man, who was taken to the hospital.

Narcan can reverse the effects of heroin or other opioids like prescription painkillers. Jackley says the medicine has been available to South Dakota hospitals and ambulance units for years, but only since 2015 has the law allowed all first responders to have the drug available.

"As the Attorney General, I have the ability to use drug control funds for certain matters that help law enforcement, and we’re using more and more of those drug control funds to help out local agencies to be able to purchase Narcan for their officers, for their firefighters, so that we make sure – especially in rural South Dakota – when our first responders arrive at a tragedy, we have every ability with technology to save a life," Jackley says.

Jackley says 51 people died in South Dakota last year due to accidental drug overdose, including heroin.

The name "NARCAN" was noted on the incident report from officers and emergency responders.

Kealey Bultena grew up in South Dakota, where her grandparents took advantage of the state’s agriculture at nap time, tricking her into car rides to “go see cows.” Rarely did she stay awake long enough to see the livestock, but now she writes stories about the animals – and the legislature and education and much more. Kealey worked in television for four years while attending the University of South Dakota. She started interning with South Dakota Public Broadcasting in September 2010 and accepted a position with television in 2011. Now Kealey is the radio news producer stationed in Sioux Falls. As a multi-media journalist, Kealey prides herself on the diversity of the stories she tells and the impact her work has on people across the state. Kealey is always searching for new ideas. Let her know of a great story! Find her on Facebook and twitter (@KealeySDPB).
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