Is Opioid Abuse Leading to Ped Head Trauma?
As a physician in the heart of the opioid epidemic, Pavirthra R. Ellison, MD, has watched for years as her patients have lost parents to overdoses. More than 1400 adults in West Virginia, where she practices, died of opioid abuse in 2021 alone, government statistics show.
The grim toll made Ellison wonder: What was happening to children in the state? The answer, according to a new study, is not reassuring.
@debniv According to a 2020 report from the US Department of Health and Human Services, about 9.9 million Americans abused prescription opioids in 2018. That same year, almost 47,000 died following an overdose of the painkillers. In 2017, Appalachian counties experienced a death rate from opioid overdoses that was 72% higher than that of the rest of the country.
Ellison and her team, who presented their findings recently at the 2022 annual meeting of the American Society of Anesthesiologists, examined rates of pediatric trauma injuries, injury severity, and results of drug screenings throughout West Virginia between 2009 and 2019.