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.
READ MORE DURAGESIC FENTANYL PATCH LEGAL NEWS
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.