Suspected overdose claims a life at Sandy Hill Community Health Centre

A suspected overdose has claimed the life of a woman at the Sandy Hill Community Health Centre. 

Staff at the health centre say the woman was found collapsed in the washroom around 3 p.m. Monday. CPR and naloxone were administered before paramedics arrived, but the individual died in hospital. 

Rob Boyd, the head of the Sandy Hill Community Health Centre, believes the woman would have survived had the suspected overdose occurred in an injection room.

"If this were in an injection room, this person would be alive today," Boyd said.  "We can’t say for sure that this person would have used an injection room here; it is still possible that while we are operating an injection service someone can go into a washroom and overdose," he added. 

Sandy Hill Community Health Centre has applied for an exemption from Health Canada to open a supervised injection site. It is awaiting final approval to begin renovations.

Supervised injection sites have already been approved and opened at the Ottawa Public Health Facility on Clarence Street, to Inner City Health who operates a trailer beside the Shepherds of Good Hope and the Somerset Community Health Centre. 

"We do know that if it were to happen in an injection room we can intervene immediately and that person would be alive today," Boyd said.