Huge Drop Seen in Youngsters Getting Opioids After Surgical procedure


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By Denise Mann
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, April 4, 2022 (HealthDay Information) — Efforts to chop again on dangerous opioid use for ache after surgical procedure are trickling all the way down to children.

New analysis reveals that fewer Individuals below the age of 18 had been prescribed narcotics to deal with surgical ache between 2014 and 2017, and these numbers dropped much more quickly starting in late 2017.

Whereas opioids may also help children handle gentle or average ache, latest research have proven that children just do as nicely with restricted or no opioids. Moreover, opioids carry their fair proportion of dangers for teenagers, together with respiratory melancholy (sluggish and shallow respiratory) and the potential for abuse. The U.S. Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention lately urged medical doctors to prescribe different ache remedy each time potential in an effort to assist stem the nationwide epidemic of opioid use and overdose deaths.

“Our findings recommend that surgical suppliers are prescribing fewer opioids for procedures the place they may not be wanted,” mentioned examine writer Dr. Tori Sutherland, an attending anesthesiologist at Kids’s Hospital of Philadelphia. “If applicable on your youngster, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicine [NSAIDs] like ibuprofen may very well be nearly as good or higher than opioids for procedures related to gentle to average ache, like dental surgical procedure or adenoidectomy,” mentioned Sutherland.

For the examine, Sutherland’s staff tapped into insurance coverage knowledge on greater than 124,000 children youthful than 18 who underwent considered one of eight surgical procedures between 2014 and 2019, together with tonsillectomies, dental surgical procedures, appendix elimination or knee surgical procedure.

The general share of youngsters who had an opioid prescription crammed within the week after their surgical procedure dropped throughout adolescents, school-aged kids, and preschool-aged kids throughout the five-year examine interval.

Damaged down by age group, prescriptions dropped from simply over 78% to 48% for adolescents, from practically 54% to 25.5% amongst school-aged kids, and from about 30% to 11.5% for preschool-aged kids, the investigators discovered.

What’s extra, the typical morphine milligram equal declined by roughly 50% throughout all three age teams. (Morphine is an opioid ache killer.)

Mother and father ought to ask about non-opioid options if their children are having doubtlessly painful surgical procedure, Sutherland mentioned.

“If the process is related to gentle to average ache, and they’re allowed to take an NSAID [or Tylenol], they may not want opioids most often,” she mentioned. “For main surgical procedures requiring an inpatient keep, dad and mom can focus on with their medical doctors if options, like a nerve block or non-opioid medicines, is likely to be applicable.”

The examine was printed on-line April 4 within the journal Pediatrics.

Dr. Lorraine Kelley-Quon is a pediatric surgeon at Kids’s Hospital, Los Angeles. She has studied opioid use amongst children up to now.

“This examine provides much-needed epidemiologic knowledge outlining how opioid prescribing practices have modified in recent times for kids present process surgical procedure,” mentioned Kelley-Quon, who was not concerned with the brand new analysis. “Mother and father ought to proceed to have interaction their surgeons and well being care suppliers in discussions about learn how to safely use, retailer and eliminate prescription opioids when wanted and choices for non-opioid ache aid methods.”

Extra info

The American Academy of Pediatrics provides ideas for folks on learn how to handle a baby’s ache after surgical procedure.

SOURCES: Tori Sutherland, MD, attending anesthesiologist, Kids’s Hospital of Philadelphia; Lorraine Kelley-Quon, MD, pediatric surgeon, Kids’s Hospital, Los Angeles; Pediatrics, April 4 2022, on-line

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