Man Died from Overdose of Fentanyl—Widow Sues Center for Medication Error

Last year, our Baltimore medication error attorneys reported on two cases involving alleged overdoses of the powerful pain medication Fentanyl—one blog discussed a wrongful death lawsuit, where an 68-year-old died after allegedly receiving an incorrect dosage of the potent pain killer, and another blog discussed an overdose of duragesic pain patches, where a care center staff reportedly failed to follow the doctor’s prescription and wait 72 hours before increasing the pain dosage, which also led to a fatal overdose.

In recent news, the widow of a man from Illinois is suing a local pain treatment center for the wrongful death of her husband, due to a medication error of Fentanyl, administered through a SynchroMedII pump. According to Sue Daniels, her husband Tony was admitted in December 2009 to the Piasa Pain Center and was given an incorrect dosage of Fentanyl, which caused him to overdose from the medication error and led to his death. When Daniels became unresponsive from the overdose, he was transferred to Alton Memorial Hospital. Sue claims that the Fentanyl injections caused him to suffer from severe brain damage and lung injuries. He died two years later.

Sue Daniels accuses the pain center of negligence for administering the lethal dosage of pain medication, and blames the managers of the pain center for failure to properly train the medical staff on how to use the equipment. Alton hospital is also named in the suit for not treating Daniels fast enough after the overdose, and for running the Piasa Pain clinic that reportedly administered prescription drug error. Medtronic is also listed as a defendant for manufacturing a pain pump that is allegedly defective.

Sue Daniels is asking for over $500,000 in damages for medical bills, court costs, pain and suffering.

The opioid fentanyl is a narcotic used for patients who are opioid-tolerant from using another potent narcotic pain medication for a week or more. The opioid-tolerant patients are often prescribed Fentanyl when they need an even stronger narcotic for strong pain relief. Fentanyl is only recommended for patients who are opioid-tolerant, as even the lowest strength fentanyl patch has the ability to cause severe side effects, and even wrongful death, according to the FDA. The FDA does not recommend fentanyl patch usage with patients who are not opioid-tolerant—as the warning stated in 2007.

In Maryland and the Washington D.C.-area, contact our pharmacy error injury lawyers today.

Widow Sues Over Husband’s Fentanyl Death, The Madison St. Clair Record, January 3, 2010

Related Web Resources:

National Institute on Drug Abuse: Research Report Series- Prescription Drugs: Abuse and Addiction
U.S. Food and Drug Administration: Second Safety Warming on Fentanyl Skin Patch

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