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What is Fentanyl and why it was related to George Floyd’s death ?

Overview

Former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin was sentenced to 22.5 years in prison today for the murder of George Floyd, whose dying cries under Derek Chauvin’s knee led to the biggest racial-discrimination revolution “I can’t breathe” outrage in the USA last year.

The trial ran for a while, statements were recorded, the defense began its case on April 13, 2021, and rested on April 15 after two days of testimony from seven witnesses. One thing that was put by the defence was Fentanyl drug found in Floyd’s blood, but what is Fentanyl and why it was much discussed in Floyd’s death trial ?

Derek Chauvin during sentencing

What is Fentanyl ?

Fentanyl was first made by Paul Janssen in 1960 and approved for medical use in the United States in 1968.

Fentanyl with chemical formula C22H28N2O is used as pain killer and together with other drugs used as a anesthetic in medical science.

Also Fentanyl is used as a recreational drug when mixed with heroin or cocaine, it’s effects are rapid and can last for atleast 1.5-2 hours.

Fentanyl is around 100 times stronger than morphine, about 50 times stronger than heroin. Carfentanil are up to ~10,000 times stronger than morphine.

Fentanyl is a very strong drug and when not used with caution can take life very easily, even a very small dose of fentanyl about 2 milli-grams is enough to kill a person.

Fentanyl side effects

Fentanyl’s common side effects include vomiting, nausea, constipation, dry mouth, confusion, and weakness, abdominal pain, headache, fatigue, weight loss, dizziness, nervousness, anxiety, depression, flu-like symptoms, ingestion, shortness of breath, hypoventilation, apnea, and urinary retention. Fentanyl use has also been associated with aphasia.

Effects on Heart

Fentanyl acts as a depressants which slow down the body’s metabolism, and effects the cardiac system.

Fentanyl slows down the heart’s natural electrical rhythm and causes bradycardia. Regular use of fentanyl can damage respiratory and heart muscles and can alter oxygen supply to the heart.

When heart is slowly declined of oxygen the heart muscles starts to die and it can lead to cardiac arrest or heart attack.

Fentanyl connection with Floyd’s death

In a medical toxicology report of George Floyd releases last year said that Mr Floyd had the painkiller fentanyl and the drug methamphetamine in his system.

Since then, the defence has argued that the fentanyl caused Mr Floyd’s loss of oxygen and death.

Dr Tobin, an intensive care doctor, indicated that Floyd’s breathing did not slow down enough as seen in overdose of Fentanyl, so Floyd’s death due to fentanyl can be ruled out.

Daniel Isenschmid a toxicologist, whose laboratory tested George Floyd’s blood and urine samples after his death, said there was evidence that some of the fentanyl had metabolised, means that Floyd was not on overdose of fentanyl.

These evidences further helped to prove Chauvin guilty, and today he was sentenced to 22.5 years in prison.

Conclusion

Fentanyl should be used with proper care and only with the help of a expert professional only for medical purposes under the rules and regulations of the land.

Fentanyl should never be used for recreational pleasure as it’s effects are severe if used in wrong amounts, it may cause conditions like dizziness, abdominal pain, headache, nausea, vomiting, bradycardia etc. and in few cases it may also cause death.

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