Home Business 1 in 5 hospitalized babies receive opioids – Some need methadone for withdrawal symptoms

1 in 5 hospitalized babies receive opioids – Some need methadone for withdrawal symptoms

1 in 5 hospitalized babies receive opioids – Some need methadone for withdrawal symptoms

LOS ANGELES — The U.S. opioid disaster is affecting the very youngest amongst us. Researchers at Kids’s Hospital Los Angeles found that one in 5 hospitalized infants receives opioids throughout their therapy. In some excessive instances, infants require methadone, a weaker opioid used to deal with opioid withdrawal, post-surgery, inflicting them to be hospitalized for an extra three weeks.

In response to the staff, this highlights a must reevaluate present therapy approaches.

Over the previous decade, the U.S. has seen a pointy enhance in deaths resulting from opioid overdose, with a staggering 80,000 deaths reported in 2021. Nevertheless, the dangers of opioids prolong past overdose. Opioids are extremely addictive, and cessation can result in extreme withdrawal signs.

“It appears unbelievable, however the identical factor occurs to infants,” says Dr. Lorraine Kelley-Quon, a pediatric surgeon at CHLA, in a media release. “Should you abruptly cease opioids in infants, they will present indicators of withdrawal — irritability, intestinal issues and even seizures.”

Dr. Kelley-Quon examined the implications of methadone use on infants’ post-surgery restoration. The research encompassed over 2,000 infants from 48 kids’s hospitals. These infants underwent surgical procedure for necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), an emergency situation discovered primarily in premature newborns.

The findings revealed that infants handled with methadone post-surgery stayed within the hospital for a mean of 21 extra days. These infants additionally wanted prolonged time on ventilators and relied extra closely on intravenous (IV) diet.

Newborn baby
(Photograph by Jimmy Conover on Unsplash(

The query arises: Why are infants given opioids? The reply facilities on ache administration. Opioids successfully deal with ache, particularly post-surgery. Nevertheless, in contrast to older kids, infants can’t be given common pain relievers like ibuprofen.

“No one needs a child to be in ache,” says Dr. Kelley-Quon. “We don’t need to cease utilizing opioids, particularly when a child is present process an operation. What we do need is to grasp the affect of opioids and use them extra judiciously.”

Nevertheless, the utilization pattern of opioids and methadone varies drastically amongst hospitals.

“We discovered such a variety in what hospitals had been doing,” notes Dr. Kelley-Quon. “In some hospitals, over 40 % of infants acquired methadone. In different hospitals, methadone isn’t used in any respect.”

These variations underline the pressing must standardize opioid therapies throughout hospitals.

For years, Dr. Kelley-Quon has been diving deep into the implications of the opioid epidemic on kids. She beforehand launched the primary evidence-based tips for safer ache administration in kids and adolescents. She emphasizes the significance of what she phrases “opioid stewardship.”

The findings are revealed in JAMA Network Open.

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