3 Interesting Updates to the Opioid Epidemic

Articles the Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety (PPAHS) has been reading this past week provide three interesting updates to the opioid epidemic.

Opioid Overdoses Costing U.S. Hospitals an Estimated $11 Billion Annually

Almost daily we read about opioid-related deaths. A recent report by Premier Inc. calculates the hospital costs associated with the opioid epidemic:

Annual hospital care for overdose patients represents a significant portion of healthcare expenditures and can be detrimental to providers in regions with high addiction rates … by extrapolating the cost trends Premier identified in its analysis, the total added costs to the U.S. healthcare system are estimated to amount to $11.3 billion annually, or 1 percent of all hospital expenditures.

@PremierHA: #Opioid Overdoses Costing US #Hospitals an Estimated $11 Billion Annually #opioidepidemic Click To Tweet @PremierHA: #Opioid Overdoses Account for 1% of all #hospital expenditures #opioidepidemic Click To Tweet

Child opioid overdoses on rise

The age groups that typically comes first to mind as symbolizing the opioid epidemic are newborn babies and older teenagers – both have been featured prominently in media reports. However, a recent report by Dr. Julie Gaither, Department of Pediatrics at the Yale School of Medicine, undermines that stereotype. Reports The Journal:

Flying under the radar in the sea of national opioid overdose statistics is the growing number of young children and adolescents dying annually from prescription and illicit opioid overdoses

Moreover, Dr. Gaither also found that although white males are often seen as most impacted by the opioid epidemic, “use among blacks and among girls is increasing at a faster rate.”

Dr. Julie Gaither: growing number of young children and adolescents dying annually from #opioid overdoses Click To Tweet Dr. Julie Gaither: #opioid use among blacks and girls is increasing #opioidepidemic Click To Tweet

Opioid Epidemic is ‘Frightening’ and Getting Worse

Dr. Chris Martin, an emergency and intensive-care physician at Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre (RVH) in Barrie, Ontario, says that the opioid epidemic is “frightening” and getting worse.

Observed Dr. Martin:

“Whereas before we would just see heroin addicts taking too much heroin, now we’re seeing people trying cocaine for the first time on a weekend, it being filled with fentanyl and (them) not waking up.”

Dr. Chris Martin: #opioidepidemic is “frightening” and getting worse Click To Tweet

Study Shows Mobile App Can Raise the Alarm on Opioid Overdoses

A recent study on a mobile application has been able to predict with 90% accuracy rate when an opioid overdose is about to occur. Reports Pain Medicine News:

From up to 3 feet away, the app scans for breathing at seven breaths or fewer per minute, along with body stillness.

@painmednews: Mobile App Can Raise the Alarm on #Opioid Overdoses #opioidepidemic Click To Tweet


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