Number of Poisoning Deaths Involving Opioid Analgesics and Other Drugs or Substances

Problem:

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of deaths related to opioid analgesics and other drugs and substances is rising.

From 1999 to 2007, the number of U.S. poisoning deaths involving any opioid analgesic (e.g., oxycodone, methadone, or hydrocodone) more than tripled, from 4,041 to 14,459, or 36% of the 40,059 total poisoning deaths in 2007. In 1999, opioid analgesics were involved in 20% of the 19,741 poisoning deaths. During 1999–2007, the number of poisoning deaths involving specified drugs other than opioid analgesics increased from 9,262 to 12,790, and the number involving non-specified drugs increased from 3,608 to 8,947.

Study

According to the study published in America Health & Drug Benefits:

Capnographic monitoring and automatic pausing of patient-controlled analgesia improved postoperative outcomes in situations that could have otherwise been fatal. Use of capnography improved clinician confidence that opioid dosing could be safely continued in postoperative patients for more effective pain management.

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