Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 29

Search results for: opioids

29 Use of Adjunctive Cannabinoids in Opioid Dosing for Patients with Chronic Pain

Authors: Kristina De Milt, Nicole Huang, Jihye Park


Opioids have been a mainstay of the treatment of chronic pain, but their overprescription and misuse have led to an opioid epidemic. Recently, as an attempt to decrease the number of opioids prescribed, the use of cannabinoid therapy has become an increasingly popular adjunctive chronic pain management choice among providers. This review of literature investigates the effects of adjunctive cannabinoids to opioids in the management of chronic pain. The nine articles are included in the literature review range from observational studies to meta-analyses published in the year 2016 and after. A majority of the studies showed a decrease in the need for opioids after adjunctive cannabinoids were introduced and, in some instances, the cessation of opioid consumption. More high-quality evidence is needed to further support this stance and providers should weigh the benefits and risks of adjunctive cannabinoids according to the clinical picture.

Keywords: cannabis, chronic pain, opioids, pain management

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28 Audit of Post-Caesarean Section Analgesia

Authors: Rachel Ashwell, Sally Millett


Introduction: Adequate post-operative pain relief is a key priority in the delivery of caesarean sections. This improves patient experience, reduces morbidity and enables optimal mother-infant interaction. Recommendations outlined in the NICE guidelines for caesarean section (CS) include offering peri-operative intrathecal/epidural diamorphine and post-operative opioid analgesics; offering non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) unless contraindicated and taking hourly observations for 12 hours following intrathecal diamorphine. Method: This audit assessed the provision of post-CS analgesia in 29 women over a two-week period. Indicators used were the use of intrathecal/epidural opioids, use of post-operative opioids and NSAIDs, frequency of observations and patient satisfaction with pain management on post-operative days 1 and 2. Results: All women received intrathecal/epidural diamorphine, 97% were prescribed post-operative opioids and all were prescribed NSAIDs unless contraindicated. Hourly observations were not maintained for 12 hours following intrathecal diamorphine. 97% of women were satisfied with their pain management on post-operative day 1 whereas only 75% were satisfied on day 2. Discussion: This service meets the proposed standards for the provision of post-operative analgesia, achieving high levels of patient satisfaction 1 day after CS. However, patient satisfaction levels are significantly lower on post-operative day 2, which may be due to reduced frequency of observations. The lack of an official audit standard for patient satisfaction on postoperative day 2 may result in reduced incentive to prioritise pain management at this stage.

Keywords: Caesarean section, analgesia, postoperative care, patient satisfaction

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27 The Addition of Opioids to Bupivacaine in Bilateral Infraorbital Nerve Block for Postoperative Pain Relief in Paediatric Patients for Cleft Lip Repair-Comparative Effects of Pethidine and Fentanyl: A Prospective Randomized Double Blind Study

Authors: Mrudula Kudtarkar, Rajesh Mane


Introduction: Cleft lip repair is one of the common surgeries performed in India and the usual method used for post-operative analgesia is perioperative opioids and NSAIDs. There has been an increase in use of regional techniques and Opioids are the common adjuvants but their efficacy and safety have not been studied extensively in children. Aim: A prospective, randomized, double-blind study was done to compare the efficacy, duration and safety of intraoral infraorbital nerve block on post-operative pain relief using bupivacaine alone or in combination with fentanyl or pethidine in paediatric cleft lip repair. Methodology: 45 children between the age group 5 – 60 months undergoing cleft lip surgery randomly allocated into 3 groups of 15 each received bilateral intraoral infraorbital nerve block with 0.75ml of solution. Group B received 0.25% bupivacaine; group P received 0.25% bupivacaine with 0.25mg/kg pethidine, group F received 0.25% bupivacaine with 0.25microgm/kg fentanyl. Sedation after recovery, post-operative pain intensity and duration of post-operative analgesia were assessed using Modified Hannallah Pain Score. Results: The mean duration of analgesia was 17.8 hrs in Group B, 23.53 hrs in Group F and 35.13 hrs in Group P. There was statistically significant difference between the means of the three groups- ANOVA (p < 0.05). Conclusion: Thus we conclude that addition of fentanyl or pethidine to bupivacaine for Bilateral Intraoral Infraorbital Nerve Block prolong the duration of analgesia with no complications and can be used safely in paediatric patients.

Keywords: cleft lip, infraorbital block, NSAIDS, Opiods

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26 Management of Pain in Patients under Vitamin K Antagonists: Experience of the Unit of Clinical Pharmacology of EHU Oran, Algeria

Authors: Amina Bayazid, Habiba Fetati, Houari Toumi


Introduction: The clinical value of vitamin K antagonists (VKA) has been widely demonstrated in numerous indications. Unfortunately, VKA are not devoid of drawbacks and risk of serious bleeding. The iatrogenic induced by these drugs is a major public health problem. Patients & Methods: We conducted a retrospective study period extending from February 2012 to August 2013 in the pharmacovigilance service of EHUO (clinical pharmacology unit). The prescription of painkillers was analyzed in patients on VKA followed at our level. The influence of these analgesics on the evolution of the INR is an important component in our work. Results: We counted a total of 195 patients, of whom 32 (or 16.41% of the total population) had received analgesic treatment. The frequencies of different categories of analgesics administered were: • Analgesics opioids: 0% • Analgesics weak opioids: Tramadol: 21.87% • The non-opioid analgesics: -AINS: 71.87% (indomethacin: 68.75% ibuprofen: 3.12%) - Paracetamol: 6.25% -Salicyles (Acetylsalicylic acid): 0%. Conclusion: The management of pain in patients under vitamin K antagonists has special features, given their many drug interactions with analgesics and their influence on the evolution of the INR which can have dramatic consequences. As such, special attention must be paid to the use of analgesics in this type of patient.

Keywords: vitamin K antagonists, pain killers, interactions, INR

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25 Dorsal Root Ganglion Neuromodulation as an Alternative to Opioids in the Evolving Healthcare Crisis

Authors: Adam J. Carinci


Background: The opioid epidemic is the most pressing healthcare crisis of our time. There is increasing recognition that opioids have limited long-term efficacy and are associated with hyperalgesia, addiction, and increased morbidity and mortality. Therefore, alternative strategies to combat chronic pain are paramount. We initiated a multicenter retrospective case series to review the efficacy of DRG stimulation in facilitating opioid tapering, opioid discontinuation and as a viable alternative to chronic opioid therapy. Purpose: The dorsal root ganglion (DRG) plays a key role in the development and maintenance of pain. Recent innovations in neuromodulation, specifically, dorsal root ganglion stimulation, offers an effective alternative to opioids in the treatment of chronic pain. This retrospective case series demonstrates preliminary evidence that DRG stimulation facilitates opioid tapering, opioid discontinuation and presents a viable alternative to chronic opioid therapy. Procedure: This small multicenter retrospective case series provides preliminary evidence that DRG stimulation facilitates opioid weaning, opioid tapering and is a viable option to opioid therapy in the treatment of chronic pain. A retrospective analysis was completed. Visual analog scale pain scores and pain medication usage were collected at the baseline visit and after four weeks, 3 months and 6 months of treatment. Ten consecutive patients across two study centers were included. The pain was rated 7.38 at baseline and decreased to 1.50 at the 4-week follow-up, a reduction of 79.5%. All patients significantly decreased their opioid pain medication use with an average > 30% reduction in morphine equivalents and four were able to discontinue their medications entirely. Conclusion: This Retrospective case series demonstrates preliminary evidence that DRG stimulation facilitates opioid tapering, opioid discontinuation and presents a viable alternative to chronic opioid therapy.

Keywords: dorsal root ganglion, neuromodulation, opioid sparing, stimulation

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24 Utilization of Informatics to Transform Clinical Data into a Simplified Reporting System to Examine the Analgesic Prescribing Practices of a Single Urban Hospital’s Emergency Department

Authors: Rubaiat S. Ahmed, Jemer Garrido, Sergey M. Motov


Clinical informatics (CI) enables the transformation of data into a systematic organization that improves the quality of care and the generation of positive health outcomes.Innovative technology through informatics that compiles accurate data on analgesic utilization in the emergency department can enhance pain management in this important clinical setting. We aim to establish a simplified reporting system through CI to examine and assess the analgesic prescribing practices in the EDthrough executing a U.S. federal grant project on opioid reduction initiatives. Queried data points of interest from a level-one trauma ED’s electronic medical records were used to create data sets and develop informational/visual reporting dashboards (on Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets) concerning analgesic usage across several pre-defined parameters and performance metrics using CI. The data was then qualitatively analyzed to evaluate ED analgesic prescribing trends by departmental clinicians and leadership. During a 12-month reporting period (Dec. 1, 2020 – Nov. 30, 2021) for the ongoing project, about 41% of all ED patient visits (N = 91,747) were for pain conditions, of which 81.6% received analgesics in the ED and at discharge (D/C). Of those treated with analgesics, 24.3% received opioids compared to 75.7% receiving opioid alternatives in the ED and at D/C, including non-pharmacological modalities. Demographics showed among patients receiving analgesics, 56.7% were aged between 18-64, 51.8% were male, 51.7% were white, and 66.2% had government funded health insurance. Ninety-one percent of all opioids prescribed were in the ED, with intravenous (IV) morphine, IV fentanyl, and morphine sulfate immediate release (MSIR) tablets accounting for 88.0% of ED dispensed opioids. With 9.3% of all opioids prescribed at D/C, MSIR was dispensed 72.1% of the time. Hydrocodone, oxycodone, and tramadol usage to only 10-15% of the time, and hydromorphone at 0%. Of opioid alternatives, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs were utilized 60.3% of the time, 23.5% with local anesthetics and ultrasound-guided nerve blocks, and 7.9% with acetaminophen as the primary non-opioid drug categories prescribed by ED providers. Non-pharmacological analgesia included virtual reality and other modalities. An average of 18.5 ED opioid orders and 1.9 opioid D/C prescriptions per 102.4 daily ED patient visits was observed for the period. Compared to other specialties within our institution, 2.0% of opioid D/C prescriptions are given by ED providers, compared to the national average of 4.8%. Opioid alternatives accounted for 69.7% and 30.3% usage, versus 90.7% and 9.3% for opioids in the ED and D/C, respectively.There is a pressing need for concise, relevant, and reliable clinical data on analgesic utilization for ED providers and leadership to evaluate prescribing practices and make data-driven decisions. Basic computer software can be used to create effective visual reporting dashboards with indicators that convey relevant and timely information in an easy-to-digest manner. We accurately examined our ED's analgesic prescribing practices using CI through dashboard reporting. Such reporting tools can quickly identify key performance indicators and prioritize data to enhance pain management and promote safe prescribing practices in the emergency setting.

Keywords: clinical informatics, dashboards, emergency department, health informatics, healthcare informatics, medical informatics, opioids, pain management, technology

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23 How the Current Opioid Crisis Differs from the Heroin Epidemic of the 1960s-1970s: An Analysis of Drugs and Demographics

Authors: Donna L. Roberts


Heroin has appeared on the drug scene before. Yet the current opioid crisis differs in significant ways. In order to address the grave challenges, this epidemic poses, the unique precipitating and sustaining conditions must be thoroughly examined. This research explored the various aspects of the political, economic, and social conditions that created a 'perfect storm' for the evolution and maintenance of the current opioid crisis. Specifically, the epidemiology, demographics, and progression of addiction inherent in the current crisis were compared to the patterns of past opioid use. Additionally, the role of pharmaceutical companies and prescribing physicians, the nature and pharmaceutical properties of the available substances and the changing socioeconomic climate were considered. Results indicated that the current crisis differs significantly with respect to its evolution, magnitude, prevalence, and widespread societal effects. Precipitated by a proliferation of prescription medication and sustained by the availability of cheaper, more potent street drugs, including new versions of synthetic opioids, the current crisis presents unprecedented challenges affecting a wider and more diverse segment of society. The unique aspects of this epidemic demand unique approaches to addressing the problem. Understanding these differences is a key step in working toward a practical and enduring solution.

Keywords: addiction, drug abuse, opioids, opioid crisis

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22 Analgesic Efficacy of Opiorphin and Its Analogue

Authors: Preet Singh, Kavitha Kongara, Dave Harding, Neil Ward, Paul Chambers


The objective of this study was to compare the analgesic efficacy of opiorphin and its analogue with a mu-receptor agonist; morphine. Opiorphins (Gln-Arg-Phe-Ser-Arg) belong to the family of endogenous enkephalinase inhibitors, found in saliva of humans. They are inhibitors of two Zinc metal ectopeptidases (Neutral endopeptidase NEP, and amino-peptidase APN) which are responsible for the inactivation of the endogenous opioids; endorphins and enkephalins. Morphine and butorphanol exerts their analgesic effects by mimicking the actions of endorphins and enkephalins. The opiorphin analogue was synthesized based on the structure activity relationship of the amino acid sequence of opiorphin. The pharmacological profile of the analogue was tested by replacing Serine at position 4 with Proline. The hot plate and tail flick test were used to demonstrate the analgesic efficacy. There was a significant increase in the time for the tail flick response after an injection of opiorphin, which was similar to the morphine effect. There was no increase in time in the hot plate test after an injection of opiorphin. The results suggest that opiorphin works at spinal level only rather than both spinal and supraspinal. Further work is required to confirm our results. We did not find analgesic activity of the opiorphin analogue. Thus, Serine at position 4 is also important for its pharmacological action. Further work is required to illustrate the role of serine at position 4 in opiorphin.

Keywords: analgesic peptides, endogenous opioids, morphine, opiorphin

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21 An Engineered Epidemic: Big Pharma's Role in the Opioid Crisis

Authors: Donna L. Roberts


2019 marked 23 years since Purdue Pharma launched its flagship drug, OxyContin, that unleashed an unprecedented epidemic touching both celebrities and common citizens, metropolitan, suburbia and rural areas and all levels of socioeconomic status. From rural Appalachia to East LA individuals, families and communities have been devastated by a trajectory of addiction that often began with the legitimate prescription of a pain killer for anything from a tooth extraction to a sports injury to recovery from surgery or chronic arthritis. Far from being a serendipitous progression of events, the proliferation of this new breed of 'miracle drug' was instead a carefully crafted marketing program aimed at both the medical community and common citizens. This research represents and in-depth investigation of the evolution of the marketing, distribution and promotion of prescription opioids by pharmaceutical companies and its relationship to the propagation of the opioid crisis. Specifically, key components of Purdue Pharma’s aggressive marketing campaign, including its bonus system and sales incentives, were analyzed in the context of the sociopolitical environment that essential created the proverbial 'perfect storm' for the changing manner in which pain is treated in the U.S. The analyses of these series of events clearly indicate their role in first, the increase in prescription of opioids for non-terminal pain relief and subsequently, the incidence of related addiction, overdose, and death. Through this examination of the conditions that facilitated and maintained this drug crisis, perhaps we can begin to chart a course toward its resolution.

Keywords: addiction, opioid, opioid crisis, Purdue Pharma

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20 Stress, Coping, and Substance Use Among College Students During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Authors: Eli Goldstein, David Moore


The COVID-19 pandemic has brought substantial changes to the lives of college students, impacting them negatively. A consequence of these impacts has led to a significant increase in the negative emotional states of depression, anxiety, and stress, as well as substance use. The present study investigated the relationship between substance use (alcohol, cannabis, nicotine, benzodiazepines, psychedelics, and opioids) among college students from March 2020 to March 2021 and the negative emotional states of depression, anxiety, and stress caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the relationship between certain personality traits and substance use. Participants (N = 85) answered three questionnaires that measured their expressed symptoms of each negative emotional state, their frequency of substance use, and their levels of five specific personality traits. Investigators predicted that individuals experiencing symptoms of stress and anxiety from the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as individuals showing higher levels of neuroticism and low levels of conscientiousness, would use more depressants (alcohol and benzodiazepines) and opioids to cope with their negative emotional states. Investigators also predicted that individuals who expressed high levels of openness to experience would be more likely to use psychedelics and cannabis to cope with symptoms of depression. Significant correlations showed that individuals primarily used depressants to cope with symptoms of anxiety, as well as cannabis and psychedelics to cope with symptoms of depression. It was also revealed that individuals with higher levels of openness to experience used cannabis and psychedelics, and those with high levels of neuroticism were more likely to use depressants. Two unexpected outcomes appeared for alcohol and depression and depressants and extraversion. Possible explanations for these outcomes are later discussed.

Keywords: substance use, mental health, personality traits, coping strategies

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19 Predictors for Success in Methadone Maintenance Treatment Clinic: 24 Years of Experience

Authors: Einat E. Peles, Shaul Schreiber, Miriam Adelson


Background: Since established more than 50 years ago, methadone maintenance treatment (MMT) is the most effective treatment for opioid addiction, a chronic relapsing brain disorder that became an epidemic in western societies. Treatment includes daily individual optimal medication methadone dose (a long acting mu opioid receptor full agonist), accompanied with psychosocial therapy. It is well established that the longer retention in treatment the better outcome and survival occur. It reduces the likelihood to infectious diseases and overdose death that associated with drug injecting, enhanced social rehabilitation and eliminate criminal activity, and lead to healthy productive life. Aim: To evaluate predictors for long term retention in treatment we analyzed our prospective follow up of a major MMT clinic affiliated to a big tertiary medical center. Population Methods: Between June 25, 1993, and June 24, 2016, all 889 patients ( ≥ 18y) who ever admitted to the clinic were prospectively followed-up until May 2017. Duration in treatment from the first admission until the patient quit treatment or until the end of follow-up (24 years) was taken for calculating cumulative retention in treatment using survival analyses (Kaplan Meier) with log-rank and Cox regression for multivariate analyses. Results: Of the 889 patients, 25.2% were females who admitted to treatment at younger age (35.0 ± 7.9 vs. 40.6 ± 9.8, p < .0005), but started opioid usage at same age (22.3 ± 6.9). In addition to opioid use, on admission to MMT 58.5% had positive urine for benzodiazepines, 25% to cocaine, 12.4% to cannabis and 6.9% to amphetamines. Hepatitis C antibody tested positive in 55%, and HIV in 7.8% of the patients and 40%. Of all patients, 75.7% stayed at least one year in treatment, and of them, 67.7% stopped opioid usage (based on urine tests), and a net reduction observed in all other substance abuse (proportion of those who stopped minus proportion of those who have started). Long term retention up to 24 years was 8.0 years (95% Confidence Interval (CI) 7.4-8.6). Predictors for longer retention in treatment (Cox regression) were being older on admission ( ≥ 30y) Odds Ratio (OR) =1.4 (CI 1.1-1.8), not abusing opioids after one year OR=1.8 (CI 1.5-2.1), not abusing benzodiazepine after one year OR=1.7 (CI 1.4-2.1) and treating with methadone dose ≥ 100mg/day OR =1.8 (CI 1.5-2.3). Conclusions: Treating and following patients over 24 years indicate success of two main outcomes, high rate of retention after one year (75.7%) and high proportion of opiate abuse cessation (67.7%). As expected, longer cumulative retention was associated with patients treated with high adequate methadone dose that successfully result in opioid cessation. Based on these findings, in order to reduce morbidity and mortality, we find the establishment of more MMT clinics within a general hospital, a most urgent necessity.

Keywords: methadone maintenance treatment, epidemic, opioids, retention

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18 Synthesis, Molecular Modeling and Study of 2-Substituted-4-(Benzo[D][1,3]Dioxol-5-Yl)-6-Phenylpyridazin-3(2H)-One Derivatives as Potential Analgesic and Anti-Inflammatory Agents

Authors: Jyoti Singh, Ranju Bansal


Fighting pain and inflammation is a common problem faced by physicians while dealing with a wide variety of diseases. Since ancient time nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents (NSAIDs) and opioids have been the cornerstone of treatment therapy, however, the usefulness of both these classes is limited due to severe side effects. NSAIDs, which are mainly used to treat mild to moderate inflammatory pain, induce gastric irritation and nephrotoxicity whereas opioids show an array of adverse reactions such as respiratory depression, sedation, and constipation. Moreover, repeated administration of these drugs induces tolerance to the analgesic effects and physical dependence. Further discovery of selective COX-2 inhibitors (coxibs) suggested safety without any ulcerogenic side effects; however, long-term use of these drugs resulted in kidney and hepatic toxicity along with an increased risk of secondary cardiovascular effects. The basic approaches towards inflammation and pain treatment are constantly changing, and researchers are continuously trying to develop safer and effective anti-inflammatory drug candidates for the treatment of different inflammatory conditions such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, psoriasis and multiple sclerosis. Synthetic 3(2H)-pyridazinones constitute an important scaffold for drug discovery. Structure-activity relationship studies on pyridazinones have shown that attachment of a lactam at N-2 of the pyridazinone ring through a methylene spacer results in significantly increased anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties of the derivatives. Further introduction of the heterocyclic ring at lactam nitrogen results in improvement of biological activities. Keeping in mind these SAR studies, a new series of compounds were synthesized as shown in scheme 1 and investigated for anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anti-platelet activities and docking studies. The structures of newly synthesized compounds have been established by various spectroscopic techniques. All the synthesized pyridazinone derivatives exhibited potent anti-inflammatory and analgesic activity. Homoveratryl substituted derivative was found to possess highest anti-inflammatory and analgesic activity displaying 73.60 % inhibition of edema at 40 mg/kg with no ulcerogenic activity when compared to standard drugs indomethacin. Moreover, 2-substituted-4-benzo[d][1,3]dioxole-6-phenylpyridazin-3(2H)-ones derivatives did not produce significant changes in bleeding time and emerged as safe agents. Molecular docking studies also illustrated good binding interactions at the active site of the cyclooxygenase-2 (hCox-2) enzyme.

Keywords: anti-inflammatory, analgesic, pyridazin-3(2H)-one, selective COX-2 inhibitors

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17 Case Report: Opioid Sparing Anaesthesia with Dexmedetomidine in General Surgery

Authors: Shang Yee Chong


Perioperative pain is a complex mechanism activated by various nociceptive, neuropathic, and inflammatory pathways. Opioids have long been a mainstay for analgesia in this period, even as we are continuously moving towards a multimodal model to improve pain control while minimising side effects. Dexmedetomidine, a potent alpha-2 agonist, is a useful sedative and hypnotic agent. Its use in the intensive care unit has been well described, and it is increasingly an adjunct intraoperatively for its opioid sparing effects and to decrease pain scores. We describe a case of a general surgical patient in whom minimal opioids was required with dexmedetomidine use. The patient was a 61-year-old Indian gentleman with a history of hyperlipidaemia and type 2 diabetes mellitus, presenting with rectal adenocarcinoma detected on colonoscopy. He was scheduled for a robotic ultra-low anterior resection. The patient was induced with intravenous fentanyl 75mcg, propofol 160mg and atracurium 40mg. He was intubated conventionally and mechanically ventilated. Anaesthesia was maintained with inhalational desflurane and anaesthetic depth was measured with the Masimo EEG Sedline brain function monitor. An initial intravenous dexmedetomidine dose (bolus) of 1ug/kg for 10 minutes was given prior to anaesthetic induction and thereafter, an infusion of 0.2-0.4ug/kg/hr to the end of surgery. In addition, a bolus dose of intravenous lignocaine 1.5mg/kg followed by an infusion at 1mg/kg/hr throughout the surgery was administered. A total of 10mmol of magnesium sulphate and intravenous paracetamol 1000mg were also given for analgesia. There were no significant episodes of bradycardia or hypotension. A total of intravenous phenylephrine 650mcg was given throughout to maintain the patient’s mean arterial pressure within 10-15mmHg of baseline. The surgical time lasted for 5 hours and 40minutes. Postoperatively the patient was reversed and extubated successfully. He was alert and comfortable and pain scores were minimal in the immediate post op period in the postoperative recovery unit. Time to first analgesia was 4 hours postoperatively – with paracetamol 1g administered. This was given at 6 hourly intervals strictly for 5 days post surgery, along with celecoxib 200mg BD as prescribed by the surgeon regardless of pain scores. Oral oxycodone was prescribed as a rescue analgesic for pain scores > 3/10, but the patient did not require any dose. Neither was there nausea or vomiting. The patient was discharged on postoperative day 5. This case has reinforced the use of dexmedetomidine as an adjunct in general surgery cases, highlighting its excellent opioid-sparing effects. In the entire patient’s hospital stay, the only dose of opioid he received was 75mcg of fentanyl at the time of anaesthetic induction. The patient suffered no opioid adverse effects such as nausea, vomiting or postoperative ileus, and pain scores varied from 0-2/10. However, intravenous lignocaine infusion was also used in this instance, which would have helped improve pain scores. Paracetamol, lignocaine, and dexmedetomidine is thus an effective, opioid-sparing combination of multi-modal analgesia for major abdominal surgery cases.

Keywords: analgesia, dexmedetomidine, general surgery, opioid sparing

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16 Intrathecal Fentanyl with 0.5% Bupivacaine Heavy in Chronic Opium Abusers

Authors: Suneet Kathuria, Shikha Gupta, Kapil Dev, Sunil Katyal


Chronic use of opioids in opium abusers can cause poor pain control and increased analgaesic requirement. We compared the duration of spinal anaesthesia in chronic opium abusers and non-abusers. This prospective randomised study included 60 American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) Grade I or II adults undergoing surgery under spinal anaesthesia with 10 mg bupivacaine, and 25 μg fentanyl in non-opium abusers (Group A); and chronic opium abusers (Group B), and 40 μg fentanyl in chronic opium abusers (Group C). Patients were assessed for onset and duration of sensory and motor blockade and duration of effective analgesia. Mean time to onset of adequate analgesia in opium abusers was significantly longer in chronic opium abusers than in opium-naive patients. The duration of sensory block and motor block was significantly less in chronic opium abusers than in non-opium abusers. Duration of effective analgesia in groups A, B and C was 255.55 ± 26.84, 217.85 ± 15.15, and 268.20 ± 18.25 minutes, respectively; this difference was statistically significant. In chronic opium abusers, the duration of spinal anaesthesia is significantly shorter than that in opium nonabusers. The duration of spinal anaesthesia with bupivacaine and fentanyl in chronic opium abusers can be improved by increasing the intrathecal fentanyl dose from 25 μg to 40 μg.

Keywords: bupivacaine, chronic opium abusers, fentanyl, intrathecal

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15 Supporting Homeless People in Red Deer, Canada

Authors: Cornelius Ehlers, Lisa Harmatiuk, Sharon Rowland, Michelle Shafers


The objective of the Street Connect program is to provide client-centered care for the homeless population within the City of Red Deer. The program aims to provide an extended continuum of care (addiction, mental health, and physical health) for high acuity homeless individuals who are not connected to a service provider and/or community service agency. Street Connect includes both primary and secondary streams of service: Overall, Street Connect has demonstrated its ability to support vulnerable populations within the City of Red Deer, specifically those who are homeless and seeking addiction, mental health, and medical assistance. The results from the data extract and chart audit reflect the complexity and vulnerability of the clients enrolled in the Street Connect program. The clients were predominantly male, with an average age of 41 years. The majority did not have a permanent address, and 65% did not have employment. Substance abuse/addiction issues were common, combined with a history of psychiatric diagnoses and previous mental health hospitalizations. The most utilized drugs were street drugs such as methamphetamine, fentanyl, and other opioids.

Keywords: client-centred care, homelessness, mental health, rural

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14 Intrathecal Sufentanil or Fentanyl as Adjuvants to Low Dose Bupivacaine in Endoscopic Urological Procedures

Authors: Shikha Gupta, Suneet Kathuria, Supriya Sampley, Sunil Katyal


Opioids are being increasingly used these days as adjuvants to local anesthetics in spinal anesthesia. The aim of this prospective, randomized, double‑blind study is to compare the effects of adding sufentanil or fentanyl to low dose bupivacaine in spinal anesthesia for endoscopic urological procedures. A total of 90 elective endoscopic urological surgery patients, 40‑80 years old, received spinal anesthesia with 7.5 mg hyperbaric bupivacaine 0.5% (Group A) or by adding sufentanil 10 μg (Group B) or fentanyl 25 μg (Group C) to 5 mg hyperbaric bupivacaine 0.5%. These groups were compared in terms of the quality of spinal anesthesia as well as analgesia. Analysis of variance and Chi‑square test were used for Statistical analysis. The onset of sensory and motor blockade was significantly rapid in Group A as compared with Groups B and C. The maximum upper level of sensory block was higher in Group A patients than Groups B and C patients. Quality of analgesia was significantly better and prolonged in sufentanil group as compared with other two groups. Motor block was more intense and prolonged in Group A as compared with Groups B and C patients. Request for post‑operative analgesic was significantly delayed in Group B patients. Hence in conclusions, spinal anesthesia for endoscopic urological procedures in elderly patients using low dose bupivacaine (5 mg) combined with 10 μg sufentanil is associated with a lower incidence of hemodynamic instability, better quality and prolonged duration as compared to that by adding 25 μg fentanyl.

Keywords: adjuvants, bupivacaine, fentanyl, intrathecal, low dose spinal, sufentanil

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13 Opioid Administration on Patients Hospitalized in the Emergency Department

Authors: Mani Mofidi, Neda Valizadeh, Ali Hashemaghaee, Mona Hashemaghaee, Soudabeh Shafiee Ardestani


Background: Acute pain and its management remained the most complaint of emergency service admission. Diagnostic and therapeutic procedures add to patients’ pain. Diminishing the pain increases the quality of patient’s feeling and improves the patient-physician relationship. Aim: The aim of this study was to evaluate the outcomes and side effects of opioid administration in emergency patients. Material and Methods: patients admitted to ward II emergency service of Imam Khomeini hospital, who received one of the opioids: morphine, pethidine, methadone or fentanyl as an analgesic were evaluated. Their vital signs and general condition were examined before and after drug injection. Also, patient’s pain experience were recorded as numerical rating score (NRS) before and after analgesic administration. Results: 268 patients were studied. 34 patients were addicted to opioid drugs. Morphine had the highest rate of prescription (86.2%), followed by pethidine (8.5%), methadone (3.3%) and fentanyl (1.68). While initial NRS did not show significant difference between addicted patients and non-addicted ones, NRS decline and its score after drug injection were significantly lower in addicted patients. All patients had slight but statistically significant lower respiratory rate, heart rate, blood pressure and O2 saturation. There was no significant difference between different kind of opioid prescription and its outcomes or side effects. Conclusion: Pain management should be always in physicians’ mind during emergency admissions. It should not be assumed that an addicted patient complaining of pain is malingering to receive drug. Titration of drug and close monitoring must be in the curriculum to prevent any hazardous side effects.

Keywords: numerical rating score, opioid, pain, emergency department

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12 Comparison of Analgesic Efficacy of Paracetamol and Tramadol for Pain Relief in Active Labor

Authors: Krishna Dahiya


Introduction: Labour pain has been described as the most severe pain experienced by women in their lives. Pain management in labour is one of the most important challenges faced by the obstetrician. The opioids are the primary treatment for patients with moderate and severe pain but these drugs are not always tolerated and are associated with dose-dependent side effects. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, too, are associated with variable adverse effects. Considering these factors, our study compared the efficacy and side effect of intravenous tramadol and paracetamol. Objective: To evaluate the efficacy and adverse effects of an intravenous infusion of 1000 mg of paracetamol as compared with an intravenous injection of 50mg of tramadol for intrapartum analgesia. Methods: In a randomized prospective study at Pt. BDS PGIMS, 200 women in active labor were allocated to received either paracetamol (n=100) or tramadol (n=100). The primary outcome was the efficacy of the drug to supply adequate analgesia as measured by a change in the visual analog scale (VAS) pain intensity score at various times after drug administration. The secondary outcomes included the need for additional rescue analgesia and the presence of adverse maternal or fetal events. Results: The mean age of cases were 25.55 ± 3.849 years and 25.60 ± 3.655 years respectively As recorded by the VAS score, there was significant pain reduction at 30 minutes, and at 1 and 2 hours in both groups (P<0.01). In comparison, between group I and II, a significantly higher rate of nausea and vomiting in tramadol group (14% vs 8%; P < 0.03) patients. Similarly, drowsiness (0% vs 11%; P<0.01), dry mouth (0% vs 8%; P<0.04) and dizziness (0% vs 9%; P<0.02) was also significant in group II. Conclusion: Due to difficulty in administering epidural analgesia to all parturients, administration of paracetamol and tramadol infusion for analgesia is simple and less invasive alternative. In the present study, both paracetamol and tramadol were equally effective for labour analgesia but paracetamol has emerged as safe alternative as compared to tramadol due to a low incidence of side effects.

Keywords: paracetamol, tramadol, labor, analgesia

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11 Effects of Different Types of Perioperative Analgesia on Minimal Residual Disease Development After Colon Cancer Surgery

Authors: Lubomir Vecera, Tomas Gabrhelik, Benjamin Tolmaci, Josef Srovnal, Emil Berta, Petr Prasil, Petr Stourac


Cancer is the second leading cause of death worldwide and colon cancer is the second most common type of cancer. Currently, there are only a few studies evaluating the effect of postoperative analgesia on the prognosis of patients undergoing radical colon cancer surgery. Postoperative analgesia in patients undergoing colon cancer surgery is usually managed in two ways, either with strong opioids (morphine, piritramide) or epidural analgesia. In our prospective study, we evaluated the effect of postoperative analgesia on the presence of circulating tumor cells or minimal residual disease after colon cancer surgery. A total of 60 patients who underwent radical colon cancer surgery were enrolled in this prospective, randomized, two-center study. Patients were randomized into three groups, namely piritramide, morphine and postoperative epidural analgesia. We evaluated the presence of carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) and cytokeratin 20 (CK-20) mRNA positive circulating tumor cells in peripheral blood before surgery, immediately after surgery, on postoperative day two and one month after surgery. The presence of circulating tumor cells was assessed by quantitative real-time reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR). In the priritramide postoperative analgesia group, the presence of CEA mRNA positive cells was significantly lower on a postoperative day two compared to the other groups (p=0.04). The value of CK-20 mRNA positive cells was the same in all groups on all days. In all groups, both types of circulating tumor cells returned to normal levels one month after surgery. Demographic and baseline clinical characteristics were similar in all groups. Compared with morphine and epidural analgesia, piritramide significantly reduces the amount of CEA mRNA positive circulating tumor cells after radical colon cancer surgery.

Keywords: cancer progression, colon cancer, minimal residual disease, perioperative analgesia.

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10 Comparative Study of Analgesic Efficacy of Ultrasound Guided Femoral Nerve Block Versus Intravenous Fentanyl Injection in Fracture Femur Patients at Emergency Department

Authors: Asmaa Hamdy, Israa Nassar, Tarek Aly


Introduction: Femoral fractures are the most common presentation in the Emergency Department (ED), and they can present as isolated injuries or as part of a polytrauma situation. To provide optimum pain management care to these patients, practitioners must be well prepared and current with utilizing modern evidence-based knowledge and practices. Management of pain associated with fracture femur in the emergency department has a critical role in the satisfaction of patients and preventing further complications. This study aimed to evaluate the analgesic efficacy of ultrasound-guided femoral nerve block compared with intravenous fentanyl in fractures of the femur in patients presented to the Emergency Department. Patients and Methods: Fifty patients with femur fractures were divided into two groups: Group A: In this group (twenty-five patients) were given intravenous fentanyl 2 micro-grams/kg and re-assessed for pain by Visual Analogue Score (VAS). Group B: In this group (twenty-five patients) underwent ultrasonography-guided femoral nerve block and were re-assessed for pain by VAS. Results: VAS score on the movement of the fractured limb between group A and group B at a 10-minute post-intervention period shows P= 0.043, and hence the difference is significant. VAS score on the movement of the fractured limb between group A and group B during a 10-minute post-intervention period showed a significant difference. Seventeen patients in group A had major PID with a percentage of 63% VS 10 patients in group B with a percentage of 37%. conclusion: both femoral nerve block and intravenous fentanyl are effective in relieving pain in patients with femur fractures. But femoral nerve block provides better and more intense analgesia and major pain intensity difference in less time. Moreover, the use of FNB had fewer side effects and more Hemodynamics stability compared to opioids.

Keywords: femur fracture, nerve block, fentanyl, ultrasound guided

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9 Trends, Attitude, and Knowledge about the Methods of Labour Pain Management among Polish Women

Authors: Kinga Zebrowska, Maria Falis, Katarzyna Kosinska-Kaczynska, Bartosz Godek, Olga Plaza, Katarzyna Kwiatkowska


Introduction: According to the ministerial decree of 16 August 2018, each woman in Poland during childbirth has the right to the pharmacological and non-pharmacological labour pain management (LPM). Aim: The aim of the study was to assess the knowledge of Polish mothers about pharmacological and non-pharmacological LPM, to investigate which methods they chose and their satisfaction with chosen ones. Material And Methods: A prospective cross-sectional study was performed among women who gave birth between 2015 and 2018. The self-composed questionnaire was distributed via the Internet in October 2018. Results: 13.727 women participated in the study. 75% have learned about LPM from the Internet. 68% of them did not gain any information on LPM from doctors during their prenatal appointments Safety of the newborn (46%), midwife’s advice (40%) and the chance of the immediate pain relief (39%) were the most important issues while choosing LPM. Respondents used a wide range of non-pharmacological methods, such as the assistance of partner during labour (81%), physical activity (58%), immersion in water (37%), relaxation techniques (15%) and others. 11% of mothers did not use any of the LPM methods. 52% of women declared that they wanted to use the pharmacological anaesthesia, while 49% had it performed (28% epidural, 16% inhaled anaesthesia, 5% parenteral opioids). Pharmacological methods were unavailable due to lack of anaesthesiologist in the maternity ward (41%) or inaccessibility of the chosen methods in the hospital (31%) and too advanced labour (43%). 48% of respondents did not decide to use pharmacological methods, because the pain was bearable (29%), anxiety of child’s health (17%), or belief that the pain is natural and it should not be avoided (16%). 83% of respondents believed that epidural analgesia has no influence on the time needed to gain a full cervix dilatation and 81% of them claimed that serious spinal cord injury is a common side effect of epidural. 51% believed that epidural increases the risk of caesarean section. Conclusions: The knowledge about the methods of LPM is not satisfactory. We should focus on well- maintained education guided by doctors, midwives, and media.

Keywords: childbirth, labour pain management, maternity experiences, obstetrics

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8 Day-Case Ketamine Infusions in Patients with Chronic Pancreatitis

Authors: S. M. C. Kelly, M. Goulden


Introduction: Chronic Pancreatitis is an increasing problem worldwide. Pain is the main symptom and the main reason for hospital readmission following diagnosis, despite the use of strong analgesics including opioids. Ketamine infusions reduce pain in complex regional pain syndrome and other neuropathic pain conditions. Our centre has trialed the use of ketamine infusions in patients with chronic pancreatitis. We have evaluated this service to assess whether ketamine reduces emergency department admissions and analgesia requirements. Methods: This study collected retrospective data from 2010 in all patients who received a ketamine infusion for chronic pain secondary to a diagnosis of chronic pancreatitis. The day-case ketamine infusions were initiated in theatre by an anaesthetist, with standard monitoring and the assistance of an anaesthetic practitioner. A bolus dose of 0.5milligrams/kilogram was given in theatre. The infusion of 0.5 milligrams/kilogram per hour was then administered over a 6 hour period in the theatre recovery area. A study proforma detailed the medical history, analgesic use and admissions to hospital. Patients received a telephone follow up consultation. Results: Over the last eight years, a total of 30 patients have received intravenous ketamine infusions, with a total of 92 ketamine infusions being administered. 53% of the patients were male with the average age of 47. A total of 27 patients participated with the telephone consultation. A third of patients reported a reduction in hospital admissions with pain following the ketamine infusion. Analgesia requirements were reduced by an average of 48.3% (range 0-100%) for an average duration of 69.6 days (range 0-180 days.) Discussion: This service evaluation illustrates that ketamine infusions can reduce analgesic requirements and the number of hospital admissions in patients with chronic pancreatitis. In the light of increasing pressures on Emergency departments and the increasing evidence of the dangers of long-term opioid use, this is clearly a useful finding. We are now performing a prospective study to assess the long-term effectiveness of ketamine infusions in reducing analgesia requirements and improving patient’s quality of life.

Keywords: acute-on-chronic pain, intravenous analgesia infusion, ketamine, pancreatitis

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7 Is Sodium Channel Nav1.7 an Ideal Therapeutically Analgesic Target? A Systematic Review

Authors: Yutong Wan, John N. Wood


Introduction: SCN9A encoded Nav1.7 is an ideal therapeutic target with minimal side effects for the pharmaceutical industry because SCN9A variants can cause both human gains of function pain-related mutations and loss of function pain-free mutations. This study reviews the clinical effectiveness of existing Nav1.7 inhibitors, which theoretically should be powerful analgesics. Methods: A systematic review is conducted on the effectiveness of current Nav1.7 blockers undergoing clinical trials. Studies were mainly extracted from PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine Clinical Trials, World Health Organization International Clinical Trials Registry, ISRCTN registry platform, and Integrated Research Approval System by NHS. Only studies with full text available and those conducted using double-blinded, placebo controlled, and randomised designs and reporting at least one analgesic measurement were included. Results: Overall, 61 trials were screened, and eight studies covering PF 05089771 (Pfizer), TV 45070 (Teva & Xenon), and BIIB074 (Biogen) met the inclusion criteria. Most studies were excluded because results were not published. All three compounds demonstrated insignificant analgesic effects, and the comparison between PF 05089771 and pregabalin/ibuprofen showed that PF 05089771 was a much weaker analgesic. All three drug candidates only have mild side effects, indicating the potentials for further investigation of Nav1.7 antagonists. Discussion: The failure of current Nav1.7 small molecule inhibitors might attribute to ignorance of the key role of endogenous systems in Nav1.7 null mutants, the lack of selectivity and blocking potency, and central impermeability. The synergistic combination of analgesic drugs, a recent UCL patent, combining a small dose of Nav1.7 blockers and opioids or enkephalinase inhibitors dramatically enhanced the analgesic effects. Conclusion: The current clinical testing Nav1.7 blockers are generally disappointing. However, the newer generation of Nav1.7 targeting analgesics has overcome the major constraints of its predecessors.

Keywords: chronic pain, Nav1.7 blockers, SCN9A, systematic review

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6 Efficacy and Safety of Tapentadol Nasal Spray Versus Oral Tramadol for the Treatment of Acute Postoperative Pain Management

Authors: Kamal Tolani, Sandeep Kumar, Rohit Luthra, Ankit Dadhania, Krishnaprasad K., Ram Gupta, Deepa Joshi


Background: Post-operative analgesia remains a clinical challenge, with central and peripheral sensitization playing a pivotal role in treatment related complications and impaired QoL. Centrally acting opioids offer poor risk benefit profile with increased intensity of gastrointestinal or central side effects and slow onset of clinical analgesia. The clinical efficacy and safety of Tapentadol nasal spray (NS) formulation was assessed as compared to Switch therapy with Tramadol for severe or acute post-operative pain in hospitalized cases undergoing major surgeries. Methods: Phase III, randomized, active- controlled, clinical trial was planned at 21 centres in India involving 294 cases who had undergone surgical procedures. These patients were randomized to receive either Tapentadol NS 45 mg (one spray/each nostril) or Tramadol 100mg i.v/oral every 4-6 hours for five days for pain management. The statistical analysis plan was envisaged as a non-inferiority trial involving comparison with Tramadol for Sum of Pain intensity difference (SPID60min) and PGA24 hrs. Results: The per-protocol analyses involved 255 hospitalized cases (Median age: 38 years) undergoing surgical procedures, of which most common were fracture reduction surgeries. The most common concomitant medications were anti-bacterials (98.3%). PID60min and PGA24hrs on NRS showed that Tapentadol NS was non–inferior to Tramadol. However, on further assessment on day 2, 3, and 5, there was clinically greater pain relief with the NS formulation (p <0.05). Secondary efficacy measures, including onset of Clinical analgesia and TOTPAR showed non-inferiority to IV Tramadol formulation. The safety profile and need for rescue medication was also similar in both the groups at the end of 5 days therapy. Conclusion: Tapentadol NS is an effective strategy for the management of moderate to severe post –operative pain with ease of administration and better clinical benefit and may prevent complications related to central sensitization in post-surgical settings.

Keywords: tapentadol nasal spray, acute pain, tramadol, post-operative pain

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5 Identification of a Lead Compound for Selective Inhibition of Nav1.7 to Treat Chronic Pain

Authors: Sharat Chandra, Zilong Wang, Ru-Rong Ji, Andrey Bortsov


Chronic pain (CP) therapeutic approaches have limited efficacy. As a result, doctors are prescribing opioids for chronic pain, leading to opioid overuse, abuse, and addiction epidemic. Therefore, the development of effective and safe CP drugs remains an unmet medical need. Voltage-gated sodium (Nav) channels act as cardiovascular and neurological disorder’s molecular targets. Nav channels selective inhibitors are hard to design because there are nine closely-related isoforms (Nav1.1-1.9) that share the protein sequence segments. We are targeting the Nav1.7 found in the peripheral nervous system and engaged in the perception of pain. The objective of this project was to screen a 1.5 million compound library for identification of inhibitors for Nav1.7 with analgesic effect. In this study, we designed a protocol for identification of isoform-selective inhibitors of Nav1.7, by utilizing the prior information on isoform-selective antagonists. First, a similarity search was performed; then the identified hits were docked into a binding site on the fourth voltage-sensor domain (VSD4) of Nav1.7. We used the FTrees tool for similarity searching and library generation; the generated library was docked in the VSD4 domain binding site using FlexX and compounds were shortlisted using a FlexX score and SeeSAR hyde scoring. Finally, the top 25 compounds were tested with molecular dynamics simulation (MDS). We reduced our list to 9 compounds based on the MDS root mean square deviation plot and obtained them from a vendor for in vitro and in vivo validation. Whole-cell patch-clamp recordings in HEK-293 cells and dorsal root ganglion neurons were conducted. We used patch pipettes to record transient Na⁺ currents. One of the compounds reduced the peak sodium currents in Nav1.7-HEK-293 stable cell line in a dose-dependent manner, with IC50 values at 0.74 µM. In summary, our computer-aided analgesic discovery approach allowed us to develop pre-clinical analgesic candidate with significant reduction of time and cost.

Keywords: chronic pain, voltage-gated sodium channel, isoform-selective antagonist, similarity search, virtual screening, analgesics development

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4 Management of Postoperative Pain, Intercultural Differences Among Registered Nurses: Czech Republic and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Authors: Denisa Mackova, Andrea Pokorna


The management of postoperative pain is a meaningful part of quality care. The experience and knowledge of registered nurses in postoperative pain management can be influenced by local know-how. Therefore, the research helps to understand the cultural differences between two countries with the aim of evaluating the management of postoperative pain management among the nurses from the Czech Republic and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Both countries have different procedures on managing postoperative pain and the research will provide an understanding of both the advantages and disadvantages of the procedures and also highlight the knowledge and experience of registered nurses in both countries. Between the Czech Republic and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the expectation is for differing results in the usage of opioid analgesia for the patients postoperatively and in the experience of registered nurses with Patient Controlled Analgesia. The aim is to evaluate the knowledge and awareness of registered nurses and to merge the data with the postoperative pain management in the early postoperative period in the Czech Republic and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Also, the aim is to assess the knowledge and experience of registered nurses by using Patient Controlled Analgesia and epidural analgesia treatment in the early postoperative period. The criteria for those providing input into the study, are registered nurses, working in surgical settings (standard departments, post-anesthesia care unit, day care surgery or ICU’s) caring for patients in the postoperative period. Method: Research is being conducted by questionnaires. It is a quantitative research, a comparative study of registered nurses in the Czech Republic and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Questionnaire surveys were distributed through an electronic Bristol online survey. Results: The collection of the data in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has been completed successfully, with 550 respondents, 77 were excluded and 473 respondents were included for statistical data analysis. The outcome of the research is expected to highlight the differences in treatment through Patient Controlled Analgesia, with more frequent use in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. A similar assumption is expected for treatment conducted by analgesia. We predict that opioids will be used more regularly in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, whilst therapy through NSAID’s being the most common approach in the Czech Republic. Discussion/Conclusion: The majority of respondents from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia were female registered nurses from a multitude of nations. We are expecting a similar split in gender between the Czech Republic respondents; however, there will be a smaller number of nationalities. Relevance for research and practice: Output from the research will assess the knowledge, experience and practice of patient controlled analgesia and epidural analgesia treatment. Acknowledgement: This research was accepted and affiliated to the project: Postoperative pain management, knowledge and experience registered nurses (Czech Republic and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia) – SGS05/2019-2020.

Keywords: acute postoperative pain, epidural analgesia, nursing care, patient controlled analgesia

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3 Combining Patients Pain Scores Reports with Functionality Scales in Chronic Low Back Pain Patients

Authors: Ivana Knezevic, Kenneth D. Candido, N. Nick Knezevic


Background: While pain intensity scales remain generally accepted assessment tool, and the numeric pain rating score is highly subjective, we nevertheless rely on them to make a judgment about treatment effects. Misinterpretation of pain can lead practitioners to underestimate or overestimate the patient’s medical condition. The purpose of this study was to analyze how the numeric rating pain scores given by patients with low back pain correlate with their functional activity levels. Methods: We included 100 consecutive patients with radicular low back pain (LBP) after the Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval. Pain scores, numeric rating scale (NRS) responses at rest and in the movement,Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) questionnaire answers were collected 10 times through 12 months. The ODI questionnaire is targeting a patient’s activities and physical limitations as well as a patient’s ability to manage stationary everyday duties. Statistical analysis was performed by using SPSS Software version 20. Results: The average duration of LBP was 14±22 months at the beginning of the study. All patients included in the study were between 24 and 78 years old (average 48.85±14); 56% women and 44% men. Differences between ODI and pain scores in the range from -10% to +10% were considered “normal”. Discrepancies in pain scores were graded as mild between -30% and -11% or +11% and +30%; moderate between -50% and -31% and +31% and +50% and severe if differences were more than -50% or +50%. Our data showed that pain scores at rest correlate well with ODI in 65% of patients. In 30% of patients mild discrepancies were present (negative in 21% and positive in 9%), 4% of patients had moderate and 1% severe discrepancies. “Negative discrepancy” means that patients graded their pain scores much higher than their functional ability, and most likely exaggerated their pain. “Positive discrepancy” means that patients graded their pain scores much lower than their functional ability, and most likely underrated their pain. Comparisons between ODI and pain scores during movement showed normal correlation in only 39% of patients. Mild discrepancies were present in 42% (negative in 39% and positive in 3%); moderate in 14% (all negative), and severe in 5% (all negative) of patients. A 58% unknowingly exaggerated their pain during movement. Inconsistencies were equal in male and female patients (p=0.606 and p=0.928).Our results showed that there was a negative correlation between patients’ satisfaction and the degree of reporting pain inconsistency. Furthermore, patients talking opioids showed more discrepancies in reporting pain intensity scores than did patients taking non-opioid analgesics or not taking medications for LBP (p=0.038). There was a highly statistically significant correlation between morphine equivalents doses and the level of discrepancy (p<0.0001). Conclusion: We have put emphasis on the patient education in pain evaluation as a vital step in accurate pain level reporting. We have showed a direct correlation with patients’ satisfaction. Furthermore, we must identify other parameters in defining our patients’ chronic pain conditions, such as functionality scales, quality of life questionnaires, etc., and should move away from an overly simplistic subjective rating scale.

Keywords: pain score, functionality scales, low back pain, lumbar

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2 Environmental Risk of Pharmaceuticals, Drugs of Abuse and Stimulant Caffeine in Marine Water: A Case Study in the North-Western of Spain

Authors: Raquel Dafouz Neus Cáceres, Javier Fernandez-Rubio, Belinda Huerta José Luis Rodríguez-Gil, Nicola Mastroianni, Miren López de Alda, Damià Barceló, Yolanda Valcárcel


The region of Galicia, found in north-western (NW) Spain, is a national and world leader in shellfish, especially mussel production, and recognized for its fishing industry. Few studies have evaluated the presence of emerging contaminants in NW Spain, with those published mainly concerning the continental aquatic environment. The objective of this study was to identify the environmental risk posed by the presence of pharmaceuticals and drugs of abuse in this important coastal region. The presence of sixteen pharmaceuticals (benzodiazepines, anxiolytics, and caffeine), and 19 drugs of abuse (cocainics, amphetamine-like compounds, opiates and opioids, lysergic compounds, and cannabinoids) was assessed in 23 sites located in the Rías (Coastal inlets) of Muros, Arousa, and Pontevedra (NW Spain). Twenty-two of these locations were affected by waste-water treatment plant (WWTP) effluents, and one represented the effluent of one of these WWTPs. Venlafaxine was the pharmaceutical compound detected at higher concentration in the three Rías, with a maximum value of 291 ng/L at the site Porto do Son (Ría de Muros). Total concentration in the three Rías was 819,26 ng/L. Next, citalopram and lorazepam were the most prevalent compounds detected. Metabolite of cocaine benzoylecgonine was the drug of abuse with the highest concentration, measured at 972 ng/L in the Ría of Noia WWTP (no dilution). This compound was also detected at 142 ng/L in the site La Isla de Aros, Ría of Pontevedra. Total concentration for the three Rías was 1210 ng/L. Ephedrine was also detected at high level in the three Rías, with a total concentration of 579,28 ng/L. The results obtained for caffeine show maximum and average concentrations of 857 ng/L Isla de Arosa, Ría de Pontevedra the highest measured in seawater in Spain. A preliminary hazard assessment was carried out by comparing these measured environmental concentrations (MEC) to predicted no-effect concentrations (PNECs) for aquatic organisms. Six out of the 22 seawater samples resulted in a Hazard Quotient (HQ) from chronic exposure higher than 1 with the highest being 17.14, indicating a high probability of adverse effects in the aquatic environment. In addition, the risk was assessed on the basis of persistence, bioaccumulation, and toxicity (PBT). This work was financially supported by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness through the Carlos III Health Institute and the program 'Proyectos de Investigacion en Salud 2015-2017' FIS (PI14/00516), the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the Catalan Government (Consolidated Research Groups '2014 SGR 418 - Water and Soil Quality Unit' and 2014 SGR 291 - ICRA), and the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement no. 603437. The poster entitled 'Environmental Risk of Pharmaceuticals, Drugs of Abuse and Stimulant Caffeine in Marine Water: A Case Study in the North-Western of Spain'.

Keywords: drug of abuse, pharmaceuticals, caffeine, environmental risk, seawater

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1 The Procedural Sedation Checklist Manifesto, Emergency Department, Jersey General Hospital

Authors: Jerome Dalphinis, Vishal Patel


The Bailiwick of Jersey is an island British crown dependency situated off the coast of France. Jersey General Hospital’s emergency department sees approximately 40,000 patients a year. It’s outside the NHS, with secondary care being free at the point of care. Sedation is a continuum which extends from a normal conscious level to being fully unresponsive. Procedural sedation produces a minimally depressed level of consciousness in which the patient retains the ability to maintain an airway, and they respond appropriately to physical stimulation. The goals of it are to improve patient comfort and tolerance of the procedure and alleviate associated anxiety. Indications can be stratified by acuity, emergency (cardioversion for life-threatening dysrhythmia), and urgency (joint reduction). In the emergency department, this is most often achieved using a combination of opioids and benzodiazepines. Some departments also use ketamine to produce dissociative sedation, a cataleptic state of profound analgesia and amnesia. The response to pharmacological agents is highly individual, and the drugs used occasionally have unpredictable pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics, which can always result in progression between levels of sedation irrespective of the intention. Therefore, practitioners must be able to ‘rescue’ patients from deeper sedation. These practitioners need to be senior clinicians with advanced airway skills (AAS) training. It can lead to adverse effects such as dangerous hypoxia and unintended loss of consciousness if incorrectly undertaken; studies by the National Confidential Enquiry into Patient Outcome and Death (NCEPOD) have reported avoidable deaths. The Royal College of Emergency Medicine, UK (RCEM) released an updated ‘Safe Sedation of Adults in the Emergency Department’ guidance in 2017 detailing a series of standards for staff competencies, and the required environment and equipment, which are required for each target sedation depth. The emergency department in Jersey undertook audit research in 2018 to assess their current practice. It showed gaps in clinical competency, the need for uniform care, and improved documentation. This spurred the development of a checklist incorporating the above RCEM standards, including contraindication for procedural sedation and difficult airway assessment. This was approved following discussion with the relevant heads of departments and the patient safety directorates. Following this, a second audit research was carried out in 2019 with 17 completed checklists (11 relocation of joints, 6 cardioversions). Data was obtained from looking at the controlled resuscitation drugs book containing documented use of ketamine, alfentanil, and fentanyl. TrakCare, which is the patient electronic record system, was then referenced to obtain further information. The results showed dramatic improvement compared to 2018, and they have been subdivided into six categories; pre-procedure assessment recording of significant medical history and ASA grade (2 fold increase), informed consent (100% documentation), pre-oxygenation (88%), staff (90% were AAS practitioners) and monitoring (92% use of non-invasive blood pressure, pulse oximetry, capnography, and cardiac rhythm monitoring) during procedure, and discharge instructions including the documented return of normal vitals and consciousness (82%). This procedural sedation checklist is a safe intervention that identifies pertinent information about the patient and provides a standardised checklist for the delivery of gold standard of care.

Keywords: advanced airway skills, checklist, procedural sedation, resuscitation

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