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Jim Lewis
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Autistic Teen's Fatal Overdose from Fentanyl Patch Blamed on Hospital

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In a very egregious case involving a 15-year-old autistic child, Michael Blankenship was inappropriately prescribed a Fentanyl patch for pain relief for a simple tooth extraction. What killed Michael was a laced painkiller patch that was meant to lessen chronic pain in cancer patients and others sufferers.

According to numerouse experts, what was prescribed to Blankenship was an extremely reckless error. After being discharged from the hospital to his mom’s house on the day of the tooth extraction, the 15 year old was found dead in his bed the following morning. In legal documents filed earlier this month, a medical examiner found Blankenship to have died from a drug overdose caused by the fentanyl patch.

In accordance to what the Federal Drug Administration states, wrongly prescribing the fentanyl patch has become a pervasive problem across the the U.S. in recent years that has lead to numerous reports of life-threatening injuries and even death. Since 2005, the FDA has been consistently warning about the misuse of the patch system. Its original intent was to be used only by patients who had developed a tolerance for opium-derived painkillers like morphine.

The FDA states that it continues to receive reports of death and life-threatening side effects in patients who use the fentanyl patch, indicating that doctors have inappropriately prescribed the fentanyl patch to patients for acute pain following surgery. Evidently, ther are many docotrs who routinely prescribe this patch for maldies as mundan as headaches, occasional or even just mild pain. It is clear evdience that the physcians are not heeding the warnings in regards to the fentanyl patch.

A foundation has been made following the boy’s untimely death in Blankenship’s name. The purpose of the foundation has been described is aimed at helping autistic children in their lives and the public’s understanding of the challenges they face. As is many times the case, medical malpractice plaintiffs are concerned that they are viewed as people looking for easy money. Often times a civil suit is the last chance for a victimized family to hold a hospital or physician accountable.

About the Editors: Shapiro, Cooper Lewis & Appleton is a law firm which focuses on injury and accident law and we have experience handling medical malpractice cases. Check out our case results to see for yourself. Our law firm has offices in Elizabeth City, North Carolina (NC) and Virginia Beach, Virginia (VA). Our attorneys have handled thousands of medical malpractice cases including surgical errors, misdiagnosis, and negligence. We would like to send you one of our FREE reports about medical malpractice, including our Top 10 Tips from a Medical Malpractice Insider and our special report on the top 5 surgical errors you need to know about. Our lawyers hold licenses in NC, VA, SC, WV, KY and DC. We are ready to talk to you by phone right now—we provide free initial confidential injury case consultations, so call us toll free at 1-800-752-0042. Our injury attorneys also host an extensive injury law video library on Youtube . In addition, our lawyers proudly edit the Northeast North Carolina Injuryboard, as well as the Virginia Beach Injuryboard and Norfolk Injuryboard as a pro bono public information service.