Huge Drop Seen in Youngsters Getting Opioids After Surgical procedure

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 exhibits that fewer Individuals below the age of 18 have 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 can assist children handle delicate or reasonable ache, latest research have proven that youngsters do exactly as effectively with restricted or no opioids. Moreover, opioids carry their fair proportion of dangers for youths, together with respiratory depression (sluggish and shallow breathing) and the potential for abuse. The U.S. Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention lately urged docs to prescribe different ache remedy each time doable in an effort to assist stem the nationwide epidemic of opioid use and overdose deaths.

“Our findings counsel that surgical suppliers are prescribing fewer opioids for procedures the place they won’t be wanted,” mentioned research creator Dr. Tori Sutherland, an attending anesthesiologist at Kids’s Hospital of Philadelphia. “If acceptable on your little one, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicine [NSAIDs] like ibuprofen might be nearly as good or higher than opioids for procedures related to delicate to reasonable ache, like dental surgical procedure or adenoidectomy,” mentioned Sutherland.

For the research, Sutherland’s crew 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 stuffed within the week after their surgical procedure dropped throughout adolescents, school-aged youngsters, and preschool-aged youngsters throughout the five-year research 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 youngsters, and from about 30% to 11.5% for preschool-aged youngsters, the investigators discovered.

What’s extra, the common 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 delicate to reasonable ache, and they’re allowed to take an NSAID [or Tylenol], they won’t want opioids generally,” she mentioned. “For main surgical procedures requiring an inpatient keep, mother and father can focus on with their docs if options, like a nerve block or non-opioid medicines, is perhaps acceptable.”

The research 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 prior to now.

“This research provides much-needed epidemiologic knowledge outlining how opioid prescribing practices have modified lately for youngsters 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 easy methods to safely use, retailer and get rid of prescription opioids when wanted and choices for non-opioid ache reduction methods.”

Extra data

The American Academy of Pediatrics affords ideas for folks on easy methods to handle a toddler’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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