Despite warnings from the Food and Drug Administration, doctors continue to prescribe the fentanyl pain patch to patients who should not be taking the drug, putting them at risk of potentially fatal complications. In some cases, pharmacies have caused patient overdoses and deaths by filling a higher dose of the fentanyl patch than the doctor prescribed. Hundreds of families who have lost a loved one to a fentanyl overdose have filed lawsuits against the doctors, hospitals, or pharmacies that improperly prescribed, administered, or filled this potent painkiller to their family members.
Fentanyl is a powerful opioid painkiller that is 80 to 100 times more potent than morphine. Because of its high potency, the FDA has warned that fentanyl should only be prescribed to patients who are already being treated with opioid painkillers. The agency has also warned against prescribing fentanyl to other patients who may be at an increased risk of overdose, including patients with short term or post-operative pain, patients taking medications that could interact with fentanyl, or patients with pulmonary problems.
When fentanyl is prescribed to patients such as these, the drug can depress the central nervous system, leading to respiratory depression that can cause less oxygen to enter the patient’s bloodstream. Unless patients who have developed respiratory depression from fentanyl are treated quickly, they may suffer permanent or fatal catastrophic brain injury.
At Heygood, Orr & Pearson, we believe that when a doctor or hospital prescribes fentanyl products to patients who should not be taking this drug, they should be held accountable for the injuries caused by their negligence. Families who have lost a loved one to a fentanyl overdose caused by medical malpractice may be eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the parties responsible for improperly prescribing the fentanyl patch.
Our attorneys have handled hundreds of cases involving the fentanyl pain patch or other fentanyl products. Our law firm has secured a number of verdicts and settlements on behalf of family members who lost a loved one to a fentanyl overdose. We believe these deaths were preventable, and that the doctors and hospitals that caused them should be held accountable for their actions in a court of law.
If your family lost a loved one to a fentanyl overdose or combined drug overdose, or if you have a family member who has suffered a catastrophic brain injury caused by fentanyl, contact the lawyers at Heygood, Orr & Pearson to receive a free legal consultation about your case. You can reach us by calling toll-free at 1-877-446-9001, or by filling out the brief contact form located at the top of this page.