Financial responsibility for the opioid crisis is finally being meted out – Purdue Pharma is in the midst of settling thousands of opioid lawsuits and Johnson & Johnson has been ordered to pay $572 million for its opioid-related actions. These two pharmaceutical giants are likely just the tip of the defendant iceberg, with more lawsuits still to be filed and decided.
However, as much as some may wish to demonize opioids and their use, it should not be forgotten that opioids and their use are here to stay. Opioids are necessary for many medical procedures – could major surgery be done without opioids? As well, opioids are a necessity for many patients to manage their pain and for their chronic conditions.
Editor’s note: As the opioid epidemic rages on, we need to rethink how pain is managed. Guidelines aimed at reducing the number of opioids prescribed has had an unintended consequence.
As the opioid epidemic rages on, we need to rethink how pain is managed. Guidelines aimed at reducing the number of opioids prescribed has had an unintended consequence. In the article, “Good News: Opioid Prescribing Fell. The Bad? Pain Patients Suffer, Doctors Say,” the NY Times reports:
In this guest post, Dr. Aliza Weinrib advocates for a new take on managing pain.
By Dr. Aliza Weinrib Clinical Psychologist, University Health Network
We have all been there. That moment when your doctor asks you, “So… how has your pain been since I’ve seen you last?”
At that moment, you turn to your memory to provide you with a summary of all the ups and downs that you have been through. Of course, you remember your pain! Your pain is very hard to forget or ignore!
The Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety is pleased to release the Position Statement on Procedural Sedation.
The number of noninvasive and minimally invasive procedures performed outside of the operating room has grown exponentially over the last several decades. Depending on the patient and the medical procedure, many of these are performed under sedation to manage the patient’s pain and/or anxiety without inducing general anesthesia.
Articles the Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety (PPAHS) have been reading the week of June 25, 2018 focus on 3 efforts to help stop the opioid epidemic.
Effort #1 – Does Government Legislation Address the Opioid Epidemic?
The House of Representatives recently passed what has been called the “most expansive legislation” to address the opioid epidemic. According to CNN, the key provision would allow Medicaid to pay for certain treatments for mental illness.
Researchers at the University of Colorado Hospital recently reported that their use of a PCA safety checklist was found to reduce pain from moderate-severe pain to no-mild pain in 42% of patients within 2 days. In “Let’s Be Smart About Improving Pain,” they reported:
Our PCA safety checklist smart phrases increased use of a safety checklist and documentation of daily PCA opioid trends, and correlated with more rapid improvement in moderate-severe pain levels.
The articles we have been reading this past week of February 5, 2018 raise an interesting question – Can legislation stop the opioid epidemic?
Do you agree with legislation to limit opioid prescription?
From the articles we have been reading this week, here are 3 tips for managing pain and using opioids safely.
#1 Tip for Managing Pain and Using Opioids Safely – Premier Safety Institute new toolkit helps providers manage pain, curb opioid use
Though much of the attention to end the opioid epidemic is centered on the improper use of opioids in the community (misuse, diversion, etc), the truth is that opioid harm exists across a continuum of care. The safe use of opioids begins with the safe use of opioid analgesics in the hospital setting and the prescription of opioids upon discharge of the patient from a healthcare facility. We must first and foremost make sure that opioids provided to patients are done so in a safe manner both during administration and upon discharge.
By Michael Wong, JD (Founder and Executive Director, Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety)
Opioid-related deaths are a leading national and community concern. Unfortunately, reports of opioid-related deaths occur with astonishing regularity in our daily news feeds.
Though much of the attention on opioid-related harm is centered on the improper use of opioids in the community (misuse, diversion, etc), the truth is that opioid harm exists across a continuum of care. The safe use of opioids begins with the safe use of opioid analgesics in the hospital setting and the prescription of opioids upon discharge of the patient from a healthcare facility. We must first and foremost make sure that opioids provided to patients are done so in a safe manner both during administration and upon discharge. Read More
Six years ago on July 27, 2011, I posted the first article on a free Wordpress blog for the Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety. It was titled “Is it possible to survive 96-minutes without a heart beat?”. Howard Snitzer, a man who suffered a heart attack survived after two volunteer paramedics responded and began a 96-minute CPR marathon. The ordeal involved 20 others, who took turns pumping his chest. This life-saving feat was only possible with the use of capnography readings, which told the volunteer paramedics that Howard was still alive and that they needed to continue their efforts.
Little would I know that that article would lead to an invitation by the University of Notre Dame and the beginnings of a 6-year friendship with the parents of Amanda Abbiehl. Amanda was admitted to hospital for “severe strep throat.” Read More