Big Drop Seen in Kids Getting Opioids After Surgery

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 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 delicate or reasonable ache, current research have proven that youngsters do exactly as properly with restricted or no opioids. Moreover, opioids carry their justifiable share 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 not too long ago urged medical doctors to prescribe different ache treatment 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 examine creator Dr. Tori Sutherland, an attending anesthesiologist at Youngsters’s Hospital of Philadelphia. “If applicable in your little one, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication [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 examine, Sutherland’s crew tapped into insurance coverage information 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 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 kids, and preschool-aged kids through the five-year examine interval.

Damaged down by age group, prescriptions dropped from simply over 78% to 48% for adolescents, from almost 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 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 may not want opioids normally,” she mentioned. “For main surgical procedures requiring an inpatient keep, dad and mom can talk about 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 Youngsters’s Hospital, Los Angeles. She has studied opioid use amongst children up to now.

“This examine provides much-needed epidemiologic information 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 how one can 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 how one can handle a baby’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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