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MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2017 Feb 3;66(4):107-111. doi: 10.15585/mm6604a4.

Multiple Fentanyl Overdoses - New Haven, Connecticut, June 23, 2016.

Abstract

On the evening of June 23, 2016, a white powder advertised as cocaine was purchased off the streets from multiple sources and used by an unknown number of persons in New Haven, Connecticut. During a period of less than 8 hours, 12 patients were brought to the emergency department (ED) at Yale New Haven Hospital, experiencing signs and symptoms consistent with opioid overdose. The route of intoxication was not known, but presumed to be insufflation ("snorting") in most cases. Some patients required doses of the opioid antidote naloxone exceeding 4 mg (usual initial dose = 0.1-0.2 mg intravenously), and several patients who were alert after receiving naloxone subsequently developed respiratory failure. Nine patients were admitted to the hospital, including four to the intensive care unit (ICU); three required endotracheal intubation, and one required continuous naloxone infusion. Three patients died. The white powder was determined to be fentanyl, a drug 50 times more potent than heroin, and it included trace amounts of cocaine. The episode triggered rapid notification of public health and law enforcement agencies, interviews of patients and their family members to trace and limit further use or distribution of the fentanyl, immediate naloxone resupply and augmentation for emergency medical services (EMS) crews, public health alerts, and plans to accelerate naloxone distribution to opioid users and their friends and families. Effective communication and timely, coordinated, collaborative actions of community partners reduced the harm caused by this event and prevented potential subsequent episodes.

PMID:
28151928
PMCID:
PMC5657834
DOI:
10.15585/mm6604a4
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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