Pediatric Opioid-Related Hospital, ICU Admissions on the Rise

Mar 07, 2018, 07:25
Pediatric Opioid-Related Hospital, ICU Admissions on the Rise

The study authors, from the University of Chicago Medicine, the Children's Hospital Association and Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, wrote that total financial costs associated with pediatric opioid overdoses also grew from 2004 to 2015.

The study shows a steady increase of opioid ingestion and poisoning across all age groups in USA children's hospitals, increasing from 797 in 2004 to 1,504 in 2015, according to data provided by the hospitals.

"Even in children under 6 years old, opioids now account for the majority of drug poisonings", they wrote in their report, published in the journal Pediatrics.

The study considered the records of children age one to 17, CNN reports, and found 1,504 opioid overdose admission between 2012 and 2015, an nearly doubling from the 797 between 2004 and 2007. For opioid-related PICU admissions, 37.0 percent required mechanical ventilator support and 20.3 percent required vasopressors.

"In this study, we demonstrate a significant and steady increase in the diagnosis of opioid ingestion and poisoning across all age groups in USA children's hospitals from 2004 to 2015".

An estimated 2.4 million Americans have an opioid use disorder, according to federal estimates.

As efforts to reduce adult opioid overdoses have not led to fewer pediatric overdoses, the US must take additional actions to reduce opioid exposure in children, the researchers concluded.

So, Ryan said, it is important for providers who prescribe methadone to talk with patients about safely using the medication at home. Synthetic opioid overdoses terminated 20,000 people in 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.

Rates of opioid overdose deaths increased significantly from 7 per 100,000 in 2013 to 9 per 100,000 in 2014. She said that parents need to practice more caution regarding their use of opioids. The opioids cited in the cases ranged from prescription painkillers to heroin and methadone. Almost 166 people die each day due to opioids, prompting the United States Department of Health and Human Services to declare opioid addiction a public health emergency.

The findings, reported online March 5 in the journal Pediatrics, offer the latest look at the US opioid epidemic.

The study took the most recent look at the opioid epidemic sweeping the United States.

But while the focus is usually on adults, children have become "the second wave of victims", Kane said.