An international multidisciplinary consensus statement on the prevention of opioid-related harm in adult surgical patients

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An international multidisciplinary consensus statement on the prevention of opioid-related harm in adult surgical patients

N Levy et al. An international multidisciplinary consensus statement on the prevention of opioid-related harm in adult surgical patients Anaesthesia 2020 Oct 7. doi: 10.1111/anae.15262.

What is already known:

Opiates are an important part of pain management and especially post-surgical pain. However, there is now a global overuse of opioids, often referred to as the “opioid crisis” which as perioperative physicians we may have unwittingly contributed to.

What this paper adds:

This is an international multidisciplinary consensus statement (four of the authors are executive members of the ERAS Society) and was developed to provide balanced guidance on the safe peri-operative use of opioids in adults. Recommended strategies to reduce harm include: identifying those at risk pre-operatively; assessment of patient function rather than unidimensional pain scores alone to guide adequacy of analgesia; avoidance of long-acting (modified release and transdermal patches) opioid formulations and combination analgesics; limiting the number of tablets prescribed at discharge; and providing deprescribing advice. This consensus statement provides a really useful framework for better prescribing practices that hopefully will help reduce the risk of postoperative opioid-related harm in adults.

Chris Jones, Guildford. @chrisnjones

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