As overdoses surge, many R.I. hospitals start testing for fentanyl in ERs

From the Journal:

Rhode Island’s two largest hospital networks for the first time are starting to screen patients for fentanyl, the deadly opioid that is linked to nearly 60 percent of all overdose deaths in 2016.

Hospital industry officials could not say how many emergency rooms nationwide routinely test for fentanyl, a synthetic opioid 50 to 100 times more powerful than morphine.

“It’s probably fewer than half″ of all hospitals, said Dr. Janis Orlowski, chief health care officer of the Association of American Medical Colleges in Washington, D.C. But “it’s sharply on the rise in the last couple of years … because we’re seeing those [overdose] increases.”

 

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