| acute pain management

Children with Elbow Fractures Often Overprescribed Opioids for Pain

Patients Only Took Less than 25 Percent of Prescribed Amount, and One in Five Did Not Take Any Opioid Medication to Manage Pain

Newswise — Philadelphia, Jan. 16, 2019—Opioid drugs prescribed to children for pain relief after a typical pediatric orthopaedic procedure may be significantly overprescribed, according to a new study by researchers at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). The patients used less than 25 percent of the drugs, suggesting a potential risk of opioid diversion. 

The findings were published on Jan. 16, 2019 in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery

Opioid diversion and non-medical use of opioids are tremendous challenges as the medical community strives to achieve improved opioid stewardship. This is especially true in orthopaedics. Across the country, more than half of all opioid prescriptions were given to patients discharged by orthopaedic surgeons. 

Additionally, about 40 percent of adolescents who took opioids for non-medical reasons had access to them from leftover prescriptions. Adolescents are also more likely to abuse substances as adults if they have used opioids for both medical and non-medical reasons. While younger children are less likely to abuse opioids, accidental ingestion is on the rise and can result in significant injury or death. 

Read more in the press release.

Access the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery article.

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