⚫ NJ mom accused of causing baby’s OD death

⚫ Young girl ingested fentanyl and died later of her injuries

⚫ Police say mom gave baby Narcan, delayed calling for help

A Monroe woman has been arrested and charged in connection with the drug-related death of her 11-month-old daughter.

Heather Cupano brought her baby girl to Saint Peter’s University Hospital on Aug. 25 and said that the child had ingested heroin.

Saint Peter's University Hospital (Google Maps)
Saint Peter's University Hospital (Google Maps)

The baby tested positive for fentanyl and was hospitalized in critical condition, according to Middlesex County Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone.

Cupano was initially charged with second-degree endangering the welfare of a child.

About two weeks later, the baby girl died of her injuries.

The next day, on Saturday, 36-year-old Cupano was also charged with first-degree aggravated manslaughter and third-degree witness tampering.

Naloxone (Narcan)
Narcan nasal spray (Dino Flammia, Townsquare Media NJ)

⚫ Police say mom gave baby Narcan, delayed calling for help

Further investigation revealed that she had tried to influence a witness’s statement to authorities.

According to Ciccone, when the baby first showed signs of heroin intoxication, Cupano administered Narcan to her child and failed to secure medical treatment for more than 48 hours.

“In an effort to serve the public, it needs to be stressed that Narcan is a temporary remedy and does not remove the effects of heroin overdose forever,” according to Ciccone in a written statement, which she said was an effort to avoid such tragedy from happening again.

After giving Narcan or any form of the generic medicine, naloxone, for a suspected opioid overdose — medical attention still needs to be secured as quickly as possible.

A box of the opioid antidote Naloxone, also known as Narcan (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
A box of the opioid antidote Naloxone, also known as Narcan (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

The medicine's effects do eventually wear off and an overdose death might still happen, even when the patient seemed fine.

At a pre-trial detention hearing on Tuesday, a judge ordered Cupano to remain in custody until her next court appearance in October, as reported by NJ.com.

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