The battle with pain: a different look at opioids

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We’re going to tell you about a study done on a type of medicine called opioids. These medicines are used to ease pain, but they can be harmful if misused.

Because of a big problem called the opioid crisis, doctors have become more careful about using these drugs.

They’re even using less of them during surgeries. However, a recent study suggests this might not be the best approach.

Some researchers at a place called Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) wanted to find out more about this.

They looked at the medical records of over 61,000 adults who had surgeries at MGH between the years 2016 to 2020.

They were especially interested in how much of certain opioids (fentanyl and hydromorphone) the patients received during their surgeries.

The researchers found something interesting. Patients who got more of these opioids during surgery had less pain after waking up. They also didn’t need as many painkillers once they were back in their hospital rooms.

Also, these patients were less likely to experience uncontrolled pain or to have ongoing pain months after surgery.

They didn’t need as many opioids in the weeks and months following the surgery either. All of this happened without causing any more bad side effects.

One of the researchers, Dr. Ran Liu, believes that giving the right amount of opioids during surgery can actually be a good thing. It can control pain better and reduce the need for more opioids later on.

Dr. Liu and his team took many factors into consideration while doing their study. This makes them confident about their findings.

This study tells us that it’s important for patients not to wake up in pain after an operation. This is not only good for their immediate comfort but also helps to prevent ongoing pain and the need for more opioids.

Dr. Laura A. Santa Cruz Mercado, another researcher in this study, points out the crucial role of correct opioid usage in surgeries. She says it may actually reduce the total amount of opioids a patient needs after the surgery.

Another senior researcher, Dr. Patrick L. Purdon, agrees that more research is needed. The goal is to help surgical teams decide how much and when to use these medicines in a safer way.

He believes that using technology to help doctors give the right amount of opioids in the operating room can have long-term benefits.

In conclusion, while the misuse of opioids is a serious problem, this study shows that when used correctly, they can actually help patients.

This is an important finding in our battle against pain and the opioid crisis. More research is needed to provide clear guidance for doctors and surgical teams.

This way, we can ensure that patients get the best and safest care possible.

The research was conducted by Dr. Ran Liu, Dr. Laura A. Santa Cruz Mercado, Dr. Edward A. Bittner, Dr. Patrick L. Purdon and others.

If you care about health, please read studies that blood pressure swings could be an early sign of heart disease, and cinnamon could help lower high blood pressure.

For more information about health, please see recent studies about how diets could help lower high blood pressure, and results showing cannabis linked to 3-times higher death risk in high blood pressure.

The study was published in JAMA Surgery.

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