Doctors Improperly Prescribing the Fentanyl Patch Can Cause Serious Harm to Patients

Fentanyl is a powerful opioid pain-killer that is often delivered through a skin patch. It is significantly more powerful than morphine.

Doctor Holding A Sign That Says PainFDA Has Warned Of The Dangers Of The Fentanyl Patch

Since 2005, the Food and Drug Administration has issued warnings about the dangers of the fentanyl patch. Many patients have died while using the patch. In some of these cases, the fault was with the manufacturer. These deaths were caused by leaks in the patches through which an excessive amount of the drug was delivered, causing overdose. Several batches of the patches have been recalled over the years for defects of this sort.

In several other cases, the deaths were caused by physician error in prescribing the fentanyl patch.

A 15-year-old autistic boy in Washington died from a fentanyl overdose after being admitted to the hospital for a dental procedure. The boy had never taken opioids before, and the dentist prescribed him the strongest available patch.

Who Should Not Be Prescribed the Fentanyl Patch

Doctors should never prescribe the fentanyl patch for acute post-surgical pain, headache, or other mild or temporary pain. The FDA has warned that the patch is only for people who have developed opioid tolerance and who have chronic pain that is not being controlled by other less powerful medications.

Doctors must also be aware of potentially dangerous drug interactions when prescribing fentanyl. Furthermore, any physician prescribing fentanyl must warn the patient against using heat sources including heating pads, hot baths, saunas, steam rooms, hot tubs, and electric blankets. They should also be warned against sunbathing.

Improper Prescribing May Give Rise to a Claim for Medical Malpractice

When a doctor prescribes this dangerous and powerful drug and it causes harm or death to the patient, there often exists a cause of action for medical malpractice and/or wrongful death.

To have a legitimate medical malpractice claim, your doctor or pharmacist had to have been grossly negligent in prescribing the fentanyl patch. 

In order to prove a medical malpractice case you must have a witness, an expert in the medical field or retlated area, that is willing to testify on your behalf. Without one there is no chance of trying, let alone winning, your case.

Do You Think You May Have A Medical Malpractice Claim?

If you believe you may have a Florida medical malpractice claim you need to speak with an experienced medical malpractice attorney, in order to comply with Florida’s pre-suit investigation requirements, and the strict time limits involved.  Contact us online or call our office directly at 888.815.6398 to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case. Even if we are unable to take on your case, we always do our best to suggest other attorneys who can assist you.

It's important to keep in mind, in order to have a solid medical malpractice claim your doctor or surgeon must have been negligent in performing their services or diagnosis. Not every case will qualify as medical malpractice.

Jim Dodson
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A Florida injury lawyer, family man and avid cyclist who clients have trusted for over 25 years.