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Boy, 4, Dies from Fentanyl Patch

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Jacksonville, FLIn a tragic case of the misuse of Fentanyl patches, a Florida woman was sentenced to 15 years in prison for her role in the death of her grandson. While it was not reported if a Duragesic Fentanyl patch was used, or a patch from some other manufacturer, the story nonetheless is demonstrative of the potency and danger of the opioid drug designed to treat patients with ongoing, chronic pain.

According to a November report in the Florida Times-Union, Patricia Ann Gay was supervising the activities of her grandson Jonathan See—then four years of age—on July 25, 2006 at her home in Jacksonville. When the boy bumped his head after jumping from a living room chair, his grandmother presumably could not locate a standard-issue band-aid in the house.

Instead, she applied a Fentanyl pain patch. See died from a toxic level of Fentanyl in his blood.

Gay's family had testified that Gay was depressed prior to her grandson's death, and relatives had been concerned with regard to the prevalence of painkillers in the home.

Circuit Judge Adrian G. Soud in Jacksonville called Gay's actions "unreasonable, unexplainable and inexcusable."

The tragedy underscores the danger inherent with Fentanyl, and also the Fentanyl Duragesic patch, a product that contains a potent opioid several times stronger than morphine. Duragesic patch patients normally have to be gradually acclimatized to the effects of an opioid medication, rather than start into it 'cold' due to the potency.

Duragesic Fentanyl is dispensed from a patch applied to the skin, and is designed to release measured amounts of medication that is absorbed through the skin. The patch and the medication are useful for those patients properly accustomed to opioid drugs and in need of stronger, longer-lasting relief from chronic pain.

However, in the past some doctors have been known to prescribe the Duragesic patch for conditions that don't warrant such a strong medication. Patients, or their immediate caregivers, have not been apprised of the dangers inherent with Fentanyl, which is classed as a narcotic.

Then there is the concern over the dispensing method. A previous Fentanyl patch recall was undertaken when a breach in the product reservoir led to leakage of Fentanyl, posing an overdose hazard for patients and their caregivers. It is not known if the Fentanyl patch in the Jacksonville incident, which occurred four years ago, may have been defective.


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Posted by

If the family was soo concerned with grandma's state of mind why in the hell did they allow her to babysit, my mother-in-law suffered from narcoleptic disorder and we never let her babysit our children, we had 2, grandma was always in the house for very long visits and had extremely dangerous medications if ever taken by a child but was always very careful. This case is not the drug manufacturers responsibility but that of a tragic accident that was caused by leaving a 4 yr old with a woman whom should never be able to what a child for any length of time alone if she cannot distinguish a band-aid from a patch containing narcotics...

It is cases like these that make it so hard for people whom need narcotics to receive them, personally some fentanyl patches or any patches do not work because they are suppose to stay on for 2-3 days and the adhesive just doesn't work that well so you are not getting the full effect of the medication.

I truly feel sorry for this family, I lost a grandson myself through sids and know how difficult it is to lose someone so young and unexpected, I believe this woman must have been on an extremely high dosage or combination to even think of substituting this type of a patch it is not called a band aid it's called a patch for a reason. They should instead of putting their effort into such a stupid lawsuit and get counseling asap for all involved and the grandma should be weened down from her meds so that she can distinguish right actions from wrong ones. Sorry I just cannot support you on this but my heart does go out...


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