Fentanyl suspected in prison overdoses
Fentanyl is suspected in two overdoses treated at King Edward VII Memorial Hospital last week, a Bermuda Hospitals Board representative has confirmed.
The drug — a synthetic opioid 50 to 100 times more powerful than morphine — is often used to cut heroin and can be fatal even in very small doses.
Its arrival on the island has prompted warnings from health, law enforcement and government representatives alike.
“BHB can confirm that it has treated two highly suspect overdoses of fentanyl in the last week,” a spokesperson said in a statement provided on Friday.
While believed to be fentanyl related, the hospital was not able to confirm the drug was responsible.
“Work is under way to have on-island testing for this drug, but at this time we only have off-island testing options available,” the spokesperson said.
No timeline was provided on when test results were expected. Confirmation from the hospital comes following a media report last week that multiple inmates at Westgate Correctional Facility had suffered overdoses thought to be caused by the drug.
On Friday, a well-placed source said that multiple inmates had overdosed at the prison sometime last week.
The source, who spoke with The Royal Gazette on the condition of anonymity, also provided the name of one of the inmates.
Due to confidentiality rules, the hospital was not able to provide any details on the two patients.
Lieutenant-Colonel Edward Lamb, Commissioner of Corrections, confirmed to The Royal Gazette that a “number of inmates” were taken to hospital for treatment “for a variety of reasons”.
“All of the inmates are safely back in Westgate,” he said on Sunday.
Senator Jeff Baron, Minister of National Security, had been “fully briefed” regarding the treatment of several Westgate inmates, a statement provided by the Ministry yesterday said.
“The Minister continues to be kept abreast of any developments regarding this matter.”