Update: Ohio Doctor Linked to 28 Fentanyl Overdoses
January 29, 2019 – Dr. William Husel, a critical care medicine specialist and anesthesiologist at Mount Carmel Hospital System in Columbus, Ohio, is being investigated for his role in at least 28 “significantly excessive and potentially fatal” overdoses on fentanyl, a painkiller 50-100 times stronger than morphine. Husel’s medical license was suspended on Friday by the State Medical Board of Ohio, which said the allegations against him were so serious that he was not even allowed a legal hearing before the board’s vote, and can no longer practice medicine in the state.
What is Fentanyl?
Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid similar to morphine, except 50 to 100 times stronger, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). It is a schedule II prescription drug, and is typically used to treat patients with severe pain from terminal diseases such as cancer, or to manage pain after surgery. Fentanyl was first approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) in 1998.
What’s the Problem?
It only takes a very small amount of fentanyl to cause a severe or potentially deadly reaction, according to the Oxford Treatment Center. As little as 2 milligrams can cause death in some people, which not only presents a danger to users, but also to others who might encounter fentanyl, such as first responders and law enforcement officials.
Side Effects of Fentanyl
According to the American Addiction Centers, general, opioid-like side effects of fentanyl may include:
- Drowsiness or fatigue
- Trouble concentrating
- Tightness in the throat
- Stiff or rigid muscles
- Constricted pupils
- Physical weakness
- Depressed breathing, shallow breaths, or irregular breaths
- Slowed heartbeat
- Dry mouth
Like any drug, using fentanyl — whether as prescribed or for recreational purposes — regularly increases the risk of addiction and dependence. However, a person who takes this medicine as instructed by their doctor, and with that doctor’s supervision, is less likely to develop an addiction to the potent narcotic.
Symptoms of addiction to fentanyl may include:
- Rapid heartbeat (tachycardia)
- Pounding in the ears
- Chest tightness
- Mood changes
- Poor balance or coordination
- Abnormal thoughts
- Opening a fentanyl patch to eat its gel beads
- Buying fentanyl illegally from people who may have a prescription
- Showing fear at the prospect of not having access to fentanyl
Signs and symptoms of a fentanyl overdose may include:
- Cold, clammy skin
- Convulsions (seizures)
- Severe drowsiness
- Dilated eyes
- Slow heartbeat (bradycardia)
- Very slow or troubled breathing
Can I File a Class Action?
Our lawyers have decided against the filing of a class action lawsuit in the fentanyl litigation, since these types of cases tend to end in “low-ball” settlement agreements and higher attorneys’ fees for many class members. However, that doesn’t mean you’re out of luck if you’ve been injured. We are currently filing individual claims on behalf of people who have suffered serious injuries because of unintentional fentanyl addiction, overdose, or death. Contact us today to learn more about your legal rights.
Do I Have a Fentanyl Class Action Lawsuit?
The Class Action Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in fentanyl lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new addiction, overdose and death cases in all 50 states.
Free Case Evaluation: Again, if you or a loved one suffered an overdose from a fentanyl patch, and were hospitalized or know someone who died from an fentanyl overdose, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to a settlement by filing a suit and we can help.