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Alleged Hospital Error Using Fentanyl Patch Fatal To Autistic Teen

Published October 15, 2009 by Scott Gottlieb, Injury Law Attorney

A personal injury lawsuit alleges a 15-year-old Autistic boy died in March when he was given a Fentanyl patch to alleviate his pain from a routine tooth extraction, reports Seattlepi.com.

Seattle Children’s Hospital sent Michael home with his mother on March 9, following the extraction, with the fentanyl patch for pain, according to a civil suit filed earlier this month in Washington’s King County Superior Court. Family members found him unresponsive the next morning and paramedics were unable to revive him – he was pronounced dead at his home.

The medical examiner report states the boy died from a drug overdose caused by the fentanyl patch, which is usually used for patients with chronic pain such as cancer patients, the newspaper reports.

Children’s Medical Director has admitted the hospital staff erred when if prescribed the fentanyl to Michael, according to the article. The hospital now has a system in place to prevent such tragedies, which it did not have at the time Michael was given the patch.

The FDA has warned against the misuse of the patch system since 2005 and in a recent public health advisory warned against prescribing the patch in situations identical to Michael’s, the article stated.

The civil lawsuit against the hospital was filed by Michael’s mother.

Scott C. Gottlieb, Injury Law Attorney, has vast experience in medical malpractice lawsuits. Experience counts. If you feel that you or a loved one has suffered due to medical malpractice or a prescription drug error, call our 24-hour answering service at (800) 825-5529 or contact us via our online contact form. Our offices are located in Binghamton, Elmira, Rochester, Watertown, and Syracuse. There is no charge for the consultation.

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