Children receiving opioids after surgery have seen a significant decline

By Denise Mann
Health Announcer

MONDAY, April 4, 2022 (HealthDay News) – Efforts to reduce critical opioid use for pain after surgery are underway in children.

Recent research shows that fewer Americans under the age of 18 were prescribed narcotics to treat pain between 2014 and 2017, and these numbers declined sharply starting in late 2017.

While opioids can help children manage low or moderate pain, recent studies have shown that children do better with no or no opioids. In addition, opioids carry their fair share of problems for children, including shortness of breath (slow and shallow breathing) and the potential for harm. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has again asked doctors to prescribe other pain medications when they can help prevent the onset of opioid use and death. overdose.

“Our data suggests that stimulants prescribe low -dose opioids for procedures where they are not needed,” said research author Drs. Tori Sutherland, a pediatrician at Philadelphia Children’s Hospital. “If your child is right, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs [NSAIDs] As such ibuprofen may or may not be better than opioids for procedures related to lower back and lower extremity pain, such as surgery or adenoidectomy, ”Sutherland said.

For the study, the Sutherland team recorded medical data on more than 124,000 young people over 18 who underwent any of eight surgeries between 2014 and 2019, including tonsillectomies, dentures, removal of the appendix or knee amputation.

The overall percentage of children who took an opioid drug filled in the week after their surgery fell among teens, school children, and five -year -old school -age children. .

Divided by age group, recommendations fell from 78% to 48% for young people, from about 54% to 25.5% among school children, and from about 30% to 11.5%. % for young children, the researchers found.

What’s more, the average milligram morphine declined by about 50% among the three -year -old groups. (Morphine is a pain killer.)

Parents should ask about the different effects of opioids if their children are experiencing trauma, Sutherland said.

“If the procedure is associated with low and moderate pain, then they are allowed to take an NSAID [or Tylenol]They may not need opioids in most cases, “he said.” For major surgeries that require a medical chair, parents can consult with their doctors if other options, such as nerve block or non-opioid medications, may be appropriate. “

The study was published online April 4 in the journal Human child.

Dr. Lorraine Kelley-Quon is a pediatrician at Children’s Hospital, Los Angeles. She had studied opioid use among children in the past.

“This study adds much-needed epidemiologic data showing that opioid abuse practices have changed in recent years for underprivileged children,” said Kelley-Quon, who did not engage in further research. “Parents should continue to consult with their physicians and health care providers about the proper use, care and disposal of opioids when needed and options for non-opioid pain relief therapy. ”

See more

The American Academy of Pediatrics provides advice for parents about managing a child’s pain after surgery.

TEACHERS: Tori Sutherland, MD, visiting anesthesiologist, Philadelphia Children’s Hospital; Lorraine Kelley-Quon, MD, pediatrician, Children’s Hospital, Los Angeles; Human childApril 4 2022, online

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