Richmond police use Narcan to save woman’s life during traffic stop

Richmond police use Narcan to save woman's life during traffic stop
Photo courtesy of the Richmond Police Department

A Richmond police officer who pulled over a car to investigate an assault instead found a woman suffering from a medication overdose and used Narcan to help save her life, police said.

The incident unfolded on Tuesday night, when an alert citizen called the RPD believing they saw a male driver assaulting a female passenger who was in the backseat of a car, police said.

Using the description provided by the Good Samaritan, Officer Kelsey Shanks tracked down the car and conducted an enforcement stop to investigate the alleged assault.

“Upon contact, Officer Shanks quickly realized that the pale, unresponsive woman in the backseat was actually suffering from a major medical emergency caused by a medication overdose,” police said. “Recognizing the severity of the woman’s condition, Officer Shanks immediately retrieved a Narcan (naloxone) kit from her patrol car, and administered the medication while awaiting the arrival of medical personnel.”

Police say the Narcan was effective in returning the woman to a responsive state. She was subsequently transported to the hospital for further treatment.

“Thanks to the alert citizen’s observations, the coordination of information by RPD dispatchers, and the quick actions, assessment and medication administration by Officer Shanks, there is no doubt that a life was saved last night,” police said.

Narcan is made possible through a funded program administered by the California Department of Health Services.