April 15, 2024

The fentanyl overdose disaster in Seattle has reached some extent the place one of many metropolis’s morgues is dealing with a scarcity of house for useless our bodies.

Within the first month of this yr, 58 individuals in King County died from opioid and stimulant overdoses, in keeping with the Medical Examiner’s Workplace. And now, Dr. Faisal Khan, the director of public well being for Seattle and King County, is sounding the alarm that the county’s morgue is operating out of house.

“The Medical Examiner’s Workplace is now battling the difficulty of storing our bodies as a result of the fentanyl-related loss of life toll continues to climb. Clearly, they’ve finite house within the coolers they use, and that house is now being exceeded regularly,” stated Khan throughout a King County Board of Well being assembly.

In 2023, the county recorded over 1,100 deaths because of opioid and stimulant overdoses, marking the best variety of overdose deaths they’ve ever recorded. Out of these deaths, 1,073 have been because of fentanyl. 

“The rise in fentanyl nationally and domestically over the previous few years has led to a way more harmful drug provide,” stated Khan. “Fentanyl has elevated the chance of overdose and loss of life, even from taking one tablet or utilizing a small quantity of powder. It’s now concerned in 70% of King County overdose deaths, as of December 2022.”

From January to December of final yr, the county’s emergency medical service attended to greater than 8,400 opioid overdoses, in keeping with health workers’ information. 

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