Oct. 21 (UPI) — Older adults who used opioid pain medications before minor surgery were up to 68% more likely to die within 90 days of the procedure compared with those who never used the drugs, an analysis published Wednesday by JAMA Surgery found.
Even among people older than 65 who had low levels of opioid use as long as eight months before surgery, about 55 people per 10,000 in the general population died within 90 days of having a procedure, the data showed.
Older adults who had not used opioid pain drugs prior to surgery died at a rate of just over 40 per 10,000 in the general population within 90 days of having a minor procedure, the researchers said.
“People who have preoperative exposure to opioids have a higher risk of mortality after outpatient surgery,” study co-author Dr. Katherine Santosa told UPI.
“Although our analysis cannot discern the underlying causes for this, our findings highlight the need to screen for opioid-related risk prior to surgery,” said Santosa, a surgeon at Michigan Medicine.
Opioids were the leading cause of drug overdose deaths in the United States in the first half of 2019, according to data released recently by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Much of the country has been in the grips of an “epidemic” of illegal opioid use and overdose deaths over the past 40 years, causing more than 1 million deaths, based on agency estimates.
At least some of this increase in use has been attributed to over-prescription for pain treatment, the CDC has said.
For this study, Santosa and her colleagues reviewed data on more than 99,000 Medicare beneficiaries — age 65 and older — who had outpatient surgical procedures between 2009 and 2015.
Outpatient procedures do not entail an overnight hospital stay, and patients are admitted, have surgery and are discharged the same day.
Patients included in the analysis had procedures ranging from varicose vein removal and hemorrhoid removal to trans-urethral prostate surgery, thyroid removal, carpal tunnel release, umbilical hernia repair and inguinal hernia repair, the researchers said.
Among outpatient surgery patients included in the study, 0.48% died within 90 days of having their procedure, the data showed.
However, those with “high” levels of opioid use — for 10 months or more and within one month — before surgery were 68% more likely to die within 90 days of their procedure, the researchers said.
In addition, those with low or medium use before surgery were 30% more likely to die, the data showed.
“Many Americans currently use opioids prior to surgery for a variety of conditions,” Santosa said.
“In this context, it is important to understand the potential impact of opioids on recovery, and create care pathways to decrease the risk of adverse effects [while undergoing surgery],” she said.
NEW CITY, NY — On Friday, Rockland County Health Commissioner Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert announced amendments to the Commissioner’s Standing Order about coronavirus, masks and educational institutions that was issued Thursday.
To align the local order with New York State Department of Health and New York State Office of Children and Family Services guidance, early childhood day care was removed and adult learning programs were added.
Now the health order requires that all educational institutions, school-age childcare programs, adult learning programs including colleges and universities, and school transportation companies are responsible to require and ensure that all children, students, faculty and staff (who are able to medically tolerate a face covering) cover their noses and mouths with acceptable face coverings at all times, other than during approved mask breaks where students can maintain social distancing.
“It is critical that we do everything within our power to protect the children of our community,” said County Executive Ed Day. “This Order gives our inspectors the ability to issue fines to the businesses and institutions responsible for the safety of our children. While we have long been limited by the Governor in terms of actions that we can take locally related to COVID-19, his recent Executive Order 202.68 clarified the authority of the Health Department to act with respect to his Executive Orders and the New York State Department of Health’s regulations.”
If a child, student, faculty, staff member or visitor is observed without a face covering in any program, school or vehicle regulated under this Commissioner’s Order, that shall constitute a violation. Each violation is subject to a civil penalty of up to $2,000 per violation per day.
“We are in the midst of a deadly Public Health Emergency, and we have seen many recent cases linked to schools, daycares and congregate settings throughout the County. Masks have shown to be effective in preventing the spread of COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses. Given the recent increases in active cases, we must all redouble our efforts to protect the health of residents and especially children,” said Dr. Ruppert.
Reports of possible violations can be made to the County’s COVID-19 Hotline at (845) 238-1956 on from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday or via email to [email protected] Staff from the Rockland County Department of Health, Rockland Codes Initiative will respond in a timely manner to complaints and in accord with operating hours of educational institutions and/or buses.
This article originally appeared on the New City Patch