1-Year-Old Pennsylvania Girl Died From Exposure To Carfentanil

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1-Year-Old Pennsylvania Girl Died From Exposure To Carfentanil

The Allegheny county medical examiner has determined that the drug carfentanil (carfentanyl), a powerful opioid used to tranquilize large animals such as elephants, was responsible for the death of one-year-old Au’Driana Cohen.

Cohen was found unresponsive on August 6 in a home in McKees Rocks. According to reports, she was being watched by a babysitter when she overdosed. The case is under investigation by county police and at the time of this writing, no one has been identified or charged in connection with the girl’s death.

The medical examiner ruled that Cohen’s exposure to the drug was accidental. She would have turned two years old this week.

What Is Carfentanil/Carfentanyl?

Carfentanil is an opioid up to 10,000 times more powerful than morphine. It was first found on streets in Ohio in July 2016, causing dozens of overdoses and six deaths in a three-day period. Carfentanil, like fentanyl, is being laced into heroin to increase its potency and maximize dealer profits.

To understand how incredibly powerful this drug is, you have to consult Elephant Care International, which recommends just 13 mg of carfentanil to safely sedate an adult male elephant that may weigh more than a ton. To sedate the elephant, you would need 13,000 micrograms of fentanyl, a drug that is 100 times less potent than carfentanil.

A human can be administered fentanyl at a rate of 100 micrograms per hour. Thus, one milligram of carfentanil, which equals 1,000 mg of fentanyl, can easily kill a large human being. In fact, the dose that is cut into heroin is often so tiny that forensic chemists have difficulty finding it.

People who may be exposed to the drug, such as forensic technicians, need to wear protective gear to avoid accidental skin contact. Last spring, a photo was posted by the police department in Kensington, Canada that illustrates what tiny amounts of fentanyl and carfentanil are needed to kill a human.

~ G. Nathalee Serrels, M.A., Psychology

 

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