Massive Drop Seen in Children 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 right down to youngsters.

New analysis reveals that fewer People underneath 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 help youngsters handle delicate or reasonable ache, current research have proven that youngsters just do as nicely with restricted or no opioids. Moreover, opioids carry their justifiable share 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 just lately urged docs to prescribe different ache remedy at any time when 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 may not be wanted,” mentioned research creator Dr. Tori Sutherland, an attending anesthesiologist at Youngsters’s Hospital of Philadelphia. “If acceptable on your baby, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication [NSAIDs] like ibuprofen might be pretty much 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 youngsters youthful than 18 who underwent one in all eight surgical procedures between 2014 and 2019, together with tonsillectomies, dental surgical procedures, appendix removing 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 kids, and preschool-aged kids 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 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.)

Dad and mom ought to ask about non-opioid alternate options if their youngsters are having probably 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 may not want opioids generally,” she mentioned. “For main surgical procedures requiring an inpatient keep, mother and father can talk about with their docs if alternate 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 Youngsters’s Hospital, Los Angeles. She has studied opioid use amongst youngsters up to now.

“This research provides much-needed epidemiologic knowledge outlining how opioid prescribing practices have modified in recent times for youngsters present process surgical procedure,” mentioned Kelley-Quon, who was not concerned with the brand new analysis. “Dad and mom ought to proceed to have interaction their surgeons and well being care suppliers in discussions about the right way 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 gives ideas for fogeys on the right way to handle a toddler’s ache after surgical procedure.

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

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