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13 inmates overdose on fentanyl in 1 week at Elmwood Correctional Facility in Milpitas

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MILPITAS – More than a dozen inmates at the Elmwood Correctional Facility in Milpitas have overdosed on fentanyl in the last week, and three prison employees were taken to hospitals for possible exposure, deputies said.

The Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office said Wednesday that at least 13 inmates suffered overdoses since March 8.

In the first incident, deputies said two inmates suffered what was described as "serious medical emergencies." The inmates were administered several doses of Narcan, a spray containing naloxone, which reverses the effects of an overdose.

Both inmates were taken to local hospitals for further assessment and have since returned to jail, deputies said.

A deputy responding to the incident also showed signs of possible exposure and was transported to a local hospital for assessment. The sheriff's office said Wednesday that the deputy was currently "doing well."

The following day, two more inmates suffered overdoses. In the first incident, deputies said an inmate was acting erratically. Around the same time, another inmate was reported unresponsive and not breathing.

Deputies said the first inmate was administered Narcan. Life-saving measures were performed on the second inmate, including the use of an automatic external defibrillator, CPR, along with the use of Narcan.

The inmates were taken to local hospitals, along with two nurses who experienced symptoms of possible fentanyl exposure, deputies said.

In the days after, the sheriff's office said nine more inmates suffered overdoses, which testing has confirmed fentanyl as the cause. All inmates were administered Narcan, taken to hospitals and are expected to make a full recovery.

Following the overdoses, staff at the jail have conducted multiple searches of the facility, brought in K9 units and increased the number of welfare checks. Deputies said the searches have yielded additional illegal drugs, but did not elaborate further.

"The Sheriff's Office is committed utilizing all available resources to ensure a safe and secure environment for those in the care of its correctional facilities," the agency said in a statement.

The incidents remain under investigation.

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