Patients in Need of Heart Surgery More Likely to Abuse Opioids, - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Patients in Need of Heart Surgery More Likely to Abuse Opioids, Develop Major Complications

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January 28, 2019 – – In recent years, the proportion of US patients in need of heart surgery with opioid use disorders has increased dramatically. Even more concerning, a new study suggests that addicted individuals are more likely to develop major surgical complications.

Increased risk for cardiovascular problems such as heart attacks, endocarditis, and strokes is associated with prolonged opioid use. The study published by researchers in JAMA Surgery, examined data on more than 5.7 million patients, including more than 11,000 people with opioid use disorders, who had heart surgery between 1998 and 2013.

During that time period, the proportion of patients with opioid use disorders surged from 0.06 percent to 0.54 percent.

People addicted to prescription painkillers like opioids were more likely to have serious complications, and therefore longer hospital stays and higher costs. It’s also worth noting that with or without an opioid use disorder, mortality rates remained relatively the same. Keep up the addiction news at crunchbase.

Senior researcher Dr. Edward Soltesz, surgical director of the Kaufman Center for Heart Failure and Recovery at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, says that “patients should not be denied cardiac surgery in urgent situations as a result of opioid use, but they should be closely monitored after their operation for the development of complications, which they are at higher risk for.”

And because opioid use disorder worsens a person’s physical condition on top of the heart complications, they end up in need of multiple operations. Soltesz told Reuters that each surgery becomes riskier as patients continued taking opioids.

It’s also worth noting that patients having surgery with opioid use disorder were almost two decades younger, on average, compared to patients without this problem. The gap is very wide, at 48 years old versus 66.

Patients with opioid use disorder were also more likely to be male. Overall, 3.1 percent of the patients with opioid use disorder and 4 percent of patients without it died shortly after their surgery.

Among individuals addicted to opioids, 68 percent had major complications. This is significant, especially once it is compared with the 59 percent of others in the study who had no such problem.

Thirty percent of patients who were struggling with opioid addiction required blood transfusions, compared with the 26 percent of other patients. Similarly, 18 percent of people with opioid use disorder needed breathing machines, compared to 16 percent of other patients.

The study did not, however, focus on whether or not opioid use disorders worsen surgical outcomes.

These numbers are important to analyze, especially with the current opioid epidemic that is sweeping the nation. Overdose-related deaths are still increasing every year, making it necessary to address the situation on a wider scale, while also managing patients on an individual level.

The result of the study puts a spotlight on the need to identify opioid use disorders before surgery. Doing so can help prevent major heart complications from developing. There are drugs that can damage the heart and the blood vessels. By addressing the opioid use disorder before the heart surgery, the risk of complications is reduced.

At the very least, the opioid intake can be limited or controlled beforehand, to make sure that opioids don’t cause any problems during the surgery. This introduces another complicated layer to the problem because most addicted individuals can’t simply stop taking drugs. If they are physically dependent, they will go into withdrawal, and in some cases, this could be life-threatening.

And so the solution seems to be on a case-to-case basis, because doctors should be able to prioritize which problems to treat first, depending on the severity of a person’s addiction.

If someone is addicted to opioids or any other substance, look for an addiction treatment facility near your area via Rehab Near Me and learn more about drug rehab programs like medication-assisted treatment. The journey towards recovery starts today.

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For more information about Rehab Near Me, contact the company here:

Rehab Near Me
Stephen James
855-227-9535
hi@rehabnear.me
130 SE 3rd Ave Suite E, Miami, FL 33131

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