In the ER: Too Much or Too Little Pain Medication?
Posted on October 1, 2013
Do we as physicians prescribe too many narcotics? Specifically do we emergency physicians prescribe more than we should? As with much else in medicine the evidence is complex and at times contradictory. Some examples of the argument that we are not aggressive enough in the treatment of pain are the following (click on them to access links):
- Racial and ethnic disparities in pain management
- Under treatment of acute pain in the emergency department
- Under treatment of pain in elderly leads to opioid misuse
- CMS to measure timing of ED pain medication in long bone fractures
If you have spent any time looking at the news or proposed state legislation the answer would clearly be yes. There is an epidemic of deaths related to prescription drug use and misuse. The problem is stark both in terms of the individual tragedies and sheer numbers.
The CDC has some great graphics that…
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