Abstract: The purpose of this study was to compare blood fentanyl concentrations in fentanyl‐related deaths with fentanyl concentrations found incidentally at autopsy, as well as with fentanyl concentrations found in hospitalized patients receiving fentanyl. Between the years 1997 to 2005, 23 fentanyl‐positive postmortem cases were identified. Nineteen of 23 (82.6%) cases were deemed to be drug overdoses. Fentanyl alone was responsible for 8 of the 19 (42.1%) overdose deaths. Mean and median fentanyl concentrations were 36 (SD 38) μg/L and 22 μg/L, respectively, range 5–120 μg/L. Seven of the cases were accidental, one undetermined. The remaining 11 of the 19 (57.9%) cases were mixed drug overdoses. Fentanyl concentrations in these cases were 31 (SD 46) μg/L, range 5–152 μg/L. All of the mixed drug overdoses were determined to be accidental. Four cases where fentanyl was considered an incidental postmortem finding were determined to be natural deaths. In hospitalized inpatients (n = 11) receiving fentanyl 2 of the patients receiving fentanyl for chronic pain for more than 3 months had concentrations of 8.5 μg/L and 9.9 μg/L. The other nine inpatient concentrations were less than 4 μg/L. In conclusion, blood fentanyl concentrations found in cases where fentanyl alone was determined to be the cause of death were similar to cases where fentanyl was part of a mixed drug overdose. There was also considerable overlap between fentanyl concentrations in fentanyl‐related overdose deaths compared to hospitalized patients being treated for chronic pain. Fentanyl concentrations in postmortem cases must be interpreted in the context of the deceased’s past medical history and autopsy findings.
Journal of Forensic Sciences – Wiley
Published: Jul 1, 2007
It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.
Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.
All for just $49/month
Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly
Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.
Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.
Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.
All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.
“Hi guys, I cannot tell you how much I love this resource. Incredible. I really believe you've hit the nail on the head with this site in regards to solving the research-purchase issue.”Daniel C.
“Whoa! It’s like Spotify but for academic articles.”@Phil_Robichaud
“I must say, @deepdyve is a fabulous solution to the independent researcher's problem of #access to #information.”@deepthiw
“My last article couldn't be possible without the platform @deepdyve that makes journal papers cheaper.”@JoseServera