Big Drop Seen in Kids Getting Opioids After Surgery

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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 right down to children.

New analysis reveals that fewer Individuals underneath 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 may help children handle gentle or reasonable ache, latest research have proven that children do exactly as nicely with restricted or no opioids. Moreover, opioids carry their justifiable share of dangers for youths, together with respiratory depression (gradual and shallow breathing) and the potential for abuse. The U.S. Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention just lately urged docs to prescribe different ache medicine every time doable 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 won’t be wanted,” mentioned research writer Dr. Tori Sutherland, an attending anesthesiologist at Youngsters’s Hospital of Philadelphia. “If acceptable to your youngster, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication [NSAIDs] like ibuprofen might be nearly as good or higher than opioids for procedures related to gentle to reasonable ache, like dental surgical procedure or adenoidectomy,” mentioned Sutherland.

For the research, Sutherland’s group tapped into insurance coverage information on greater than 124,000 children youthful than 18 who underwent one among 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 crammed within the week after their surgical procedure dropped throughout adolescents, school-aged youngsters, and preschool-aged youngsters through 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 probably painful surgical procedure, Sutherland mentioned.

“If the process is related to gentle 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, dad and mom can talk about with their docs if options, like a nerve block or non-opioid medicines, may be 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 children prior to now.

“This research provides much-needed epidemiologic information 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. “Mother and father ought to proceed to interact their surgeons and well being care suppliers in discussions about tips on how 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 provides ideas for fogeys on tips on how 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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