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Fentanyl Patch Kills Tot, Fentanyl Lawsuit Launched

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Deerfield, WI"He was just being a little boy." The pained words of a mother lamenting the needless loss of her two-year-old son to the cruelty of a fentanyl patch that had fallen into the wrong hands. Fentanyl patches contain a powerful narcotic designed to ease intense and chronic pain. But they have to be handled with kid gloves, because fentanyl patches can kill.

Blake Seamonson was only two years old when his parents could not wake him on the morning of November 4th of last year. He was found to have a fentanyl patch lodged in his throat, and the child could not be revived.

In a fentanyl lawsuit filed this past June, Blake's family notes they had visited the child's great-grandmother at Nazareth Health and Rehabilitation Center in Stoughton three days before he died. The resident was on fentanyl patches at the time, and the family believes Blake may have picked up one of the patches at the facility.

According to the Wisconsin State Journal (6/17/12), employees at Nazareth have said in statements to sheriff's detectives from Dane County that fentanyl patches have occasionally been found on the floor of the facility. It has since been determined, according to state inspectors, that used fentanyl patches at the facility were routinely folded in half and tossed in the garbage. Guidelines from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) note that that used patches should be flushed down the toilet.

Nazareth has reportedly revised its disposal practice to reflect FDA recommendations. The facility would not comment on the fentanyl lawsuit.

Other facilities are known to place used patches in containers designed for sharps. However there doesn't appear to be any uniform disposal method for used patches, which reportedly can retain up to 50 percent of its narcotic in the patch reservoir at the end of its normal three-day lifespan, according to the FDA. Fentanyl patches can be deadly, in the wrong hands.

While Blake's father Brian Seamonson had used fentanyl patches to ease the pain from a back injury six years prior, the family maintains they were properly disposed of. The report also noted the fentanyl patches used by Seamonson for back pain four years before Blake was born looked different than the one found lodged in the throat of Blake Seamonson.

The FDA has said the death of Blake Seamonson is among 10 deaths and 16 accidental exposures amongst children since 1997. A spokesperson for The Institute for Safe Medicine Practices noted other accidental exposures involved that of a little girl who simply sat on a patch and it adhered to her leg.

Blake Seamonson had gone with his family to visit his great-grandmother at Nazareth on November 1. He was dead three days later. His family, in their fentanyl lawsuit, claim the boy somehow picked up a wayward patch while visiting the facility without their knowing.

The fentanyl lawsuit was filed in June at Dane County Circuit Court. It is not known if the fentanyl patch involved in the toddler's death was a Duragesic Fentanyl patch.

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READER COMMENTS

Posted by

on
This is a very aweful and disturbing story.I am on a duragesic or fentanel patch and have been for years.I have babies in my home.I too have thrown away a patch ,thinking it was done right.Our new puppy pulled it out of the trash and ate on it.he died.Ever since I make sure I dispose of the right way.And again however you sweat a lot from them and they do not stick vey well.They fall off.And even tape and bandaids etc dont help.So neglegence may not be the situation.I know I seem heartless and most likely be ticked off at the facility too,But I am not sure a blame can be put on anyone at this point .But a god lesson to be learned from a very sad death.I pray for the family and ask all who use these to make sure they are on you ,they do fall off.

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