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Local Rehab Investigates the Fentanyl Death Pose

Morristown, TN – ReVIDA® Recovery is a local rehab and medication-assisted treatment (MAT) clinic that releases educational blogs, including their latest installment investigating what is the fentanyl death pose. Their program features flexible outpatient scheduling as well as MAT for opioid use disorders.

“Despite what it sounds like, the ‘fentanyl death pose’ does not refer to a person who has died. Instead, the term describes the look of muscle stiffness that can occur with a fentanyl overdose. The fentanyl death pose can be frightening (the person may look as stiff as a statue and in an unusual position), but in many cases, medical professionals can reverse it within minutes. However, the condition may include stiffness in the airways and throat that requires advanced medical care. The fentanyl death pose can take many forms and doesn’t always look exactly as described above. Fentanyl-related muscle stiffness in the chest and torso area may also be referred to as ‘wooden chest syndrome’,” the article reads.

Symptoms of the fentanyl death pose include tensing in the trunk, neck, and jaw muscles, vocal cord closure (laryngeal spasms) in 50-100% of cases, decreased chest compliance, inability to open the mouth, clenched jaws, inability to breathe, muscle rigidity in the chest wall, rapid onset of cyanosis, and loss of consciousness. The person experiencing these symptoms may have their eyes open but be unable to breathe. Showing signs of the fentanyl death pose is a medical emergency, and help needs to be sought as soon as possible.

Fentanyl-induced muscle rigidity, also known as the fentanyl death pose or wooden chest syndrome, is a rare side effect of fentanyl overdose. Wooden chest syndrome is well-understood by anesthesiologists because it’s a risk factor when administering fentanyl as an anesthetic during surgery. However, fentanyl-related muscle rigidity from illicit fentanyl usage has been extremely rare. The onset and severity of the condition are directly proportional to the dosage and rapidity of injection. Since illicit fentanyl contains increasingly toxic levels of the opioid, the potential for experiencing fentanyl death pose is rising. Some cases have recently been recorded by first responders and other healthcare professionals.

“One of the immediate risks of fentanyl-induced rigidity is that it affects the respiratory system and may interfere with a person’s ability to breathe. While proper treatment can often reverse the symptoms within minutes, advanced care is needed to react quickly in response to potential respiratory depression and airway rigidity that can make it impossible to perform chest compressions, CPR, or ventilation. Administering naloxone is usually the first step, however, the usual dosage may cause vomiting, which is a dangerous reaction when the airways are paralyzed,” the article continues.

Illicit fentanyl use can pose many risks and produce unpleasant side effects. Because fentanyl is readily available, it is often added to other substances without the consumer’s knowledge. Side effects of ingesting fentanyl include hives, hemorrhoids, sepsis, abscesses, damage to opiate receptors in the brain, seizures, respiratory depression or failure, and overdose. These side effects can vary from person to person, but in those who do not regularly use fentanyl, an accidental overdose is far more likely.

ReVIDA® Recovery serves the Appalachian area, with locations throughout Tennessee and Virginia. Their goal is to help connect those in need to quality opioid use disorder treatment. Each location offers same-day appointments so there is no wait to begin treatment. They accept commercial insurance, Medicaid, and self-pay. With a dedicated and compassionate team, ReVIDA® Recovery has helped many to reclaim their lives.

To learn more about ReVIDA® Recovery, call 423-631-0432 or visit their website.


For more information about ReVIDA Recovery® Morristown, contact the company here:

ReVIDA Recovery® Morristown
230 Bowman Street Suite C
Morristown, TN 37813

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