3 West Allis officers get sick after opioid exposure - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

3 West Allis officers get sick after opioid exposure

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MILWAUKEE CO. (WISN) -- Three West Allis police officers fell ill and needed treatment at a hospital after they helped a man who was unconscious and not breathing after a Saturday morning crash, an official said.

Deputy Chief Robert Fletcher said the driver who needed help, a 31-year-old West Allis man, was revived, hospitalized and later arrested on suspicion of OWI. Fletcher said it was the man's third offense of operating under the influence of a restricted controlled substance.

According to Fletcher, the officers removed the man from his vehicle after finding him on the 1300 block of South 65th Street. They began CPR but soon felt very ill.

Officials haven't confirmed what made the officers ill, but it's believed to be some type of opioid, Fletcher said.

The Milwaukee County District Attorney's Office will review the case for possible criminal charges against the driver.

Two Greendale police officers and a Milwaukee police officer were treated for exposure to fentanyl in two separate late May incidents.

Milwaukee County Medical Examiner's Office says there is definitely a cause for concern.

"Any time something is aerosolized, where it can be inhaled, it can readily be absorbed into the mucous membranes through the nose through the blood into the brain and that can be very harmful," said Sara Schreiber, a toxicology expert with the office.

Schreiber recommends first responders take critical precautions. 

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