For the first time in United States history, people are more likely to die from accidental opioid overdoses than in car crashes.
According to the National Safety Council’s new report, a person born in 2017 has a greater chance of dying from an accidental opioid overdose—one in 96— than the one-in-103 odds of dying from a motor vehicle crash. This now makes opioid overdose, considered accidental, a Top 5 cause of death behind heart disease, cancer, chronic lower respiratory disease and suicide.
“For the longest time, injury had been one of the leading causes of lost life in young people. Now opioid overdoses and other drug overdoses are overtaking that. This happened very quickly,” said John Harvin, M.D., a trauma surgeon at Memorial Hermann-TMC and associate professor in the division of acute care surgery at UTHealth’s McGovern Medical School. “The way that it has exponentially increased has been quite shocking.”
The opioid epidemic in the country has mainly been driven by illicit fentanyl. In December 2018, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Vital Statistics System report showed that fentanyl-involved overdose deaths surpassed the number of deaths from heroin and oxycodone. Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid painkiller, is 80 to 100 times stronger than morphine and 30 to 50 times more potent than heroin.
According to the CDC, more than 130 Americans die from opioid overdose each day. Approximately 29 percent of patients who had a prescription for opioids to treat chronic pain misused the drugs and 80 percent of heroin addicts first used prescription opioids.
“When you look at the data, there’s definitely a role that the medical community has played in this problem,” Harvin said.
In 2001, the Joint Commission issued the “Pain Management Standards” to help address the underassessment and inadequate diagnosis of pain, encouraging more aggressive treatments, including opioids. These new standards led to the misguided notion that pain was the fifth vital sign; however, health care providers overcorrected by over-prescribing opioids to eliminate pain and ushered in a opioid epidemic.
In an effort to curb the opioid overdose crisis, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has launched initiatives around five main areas: improving access to treatment and rehabilitation; increasing access to lifesaving opioid overdose reversal drugs, such as naloxone; expanding public health surveillance of opioid use; supporting pain and addiction research; and promoting pain management programs and practices among caregivers.
“Over time, we’ve learned a number of things: First off, you don’t always need opioids to treat patients. A lot of this is driven by patient expectations, provider expectations, nursing expectations, family expectations. The more you address that, the easier everything else becomes because a lot of pain can be treated with things that are not opioids,” Harvin said.
In 2013, the Memorial Hermann Red Duke Trauma Institute implemented an opioid-minimizing pain cocktail to treat trauma patients. Instead of using hydrocodone, oxycodone or other types of opioids, this cocktail uses high doses of acetaminophen, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), gabapentin, lidocaine and ketamine to help patients alleviate pain.
Harvin said the use of non-opioid analgesics were “very controversial at the time because everyone felt—much like the rest of the community—that opioids were the pillar of acute pain management,” but since then, the institute has reduced in-hospital use of opioids by 40 percent.
Opioid overdose falls under the category of unintentional and preventable injuries, which is the third leading cause of death, preceded by heart disease and cancer, respectively.
“We’ve made significant strides in overall longevity in the United States, but we are dying from things typically called accidents at rates we haven’t seen in half a century,” Ken Kolosh, the National Safety Council’s manager of statistics, said in a statement. “We cannot be complacent about 466 lives lost every day. This new analysis reinforces that we must consistently prioritize safety at work, at home and on the road to prevent these dire outcomes.”
Alex Harding, M.D., an assistant professor of emergency medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, said the council’s report ultimately helps shed light on how people can overestimate certain risks of dying and underestimate the real, prevalent issues that are more likely to cause death.
“People should be cognizant of how preventable and actionable these some of these things are—whether it’s heart disease, cancer or suicide—and recognize that we can be catalysts for change and for helping our fellow Americans,” Harding said. “We may not recognize what someone is going through, especially when something like [opioid use and suicides] have become so prevalent. Addiction is truly a disease. If we start treating it the same way we do heart disease and cancer, with the same kind of compassion, camaraderie and respect for your fellow man, then we can go far.”
Return The Favor: Glowing green for Veterans https://t.co/w7LwFweRyD via @abc27News
@j_rodricks1 @MJEjags @katyisd We are so grateful for these blood donations. They make a huge difference in our cancer patients’ lives. Thank you.
Thousands of patients in need of heart surgery may soon have a new option. Read more: https://t.co/3p9SO6C3xz. https://t.co/PZ71Ui3vkB
Ready to hire a professional for your business?Well then search our talent pool for your perfect candidate Create an account today!Highly experienced professionals are waiting to perform at very high standards in your growing company.1. Post a Job: remote or local Post your job on We'cruitish job board and reach qualified candidates who are eager to be apart of your team. You will be pleasantly surprised when you see how easy it is to post jobs on our job board. You can also choose to receive applications by email or redirect applicants to a certain URL to complete the application process.2. Company Profile Page You can create a company profile page, which displays your logo, choose images and videos in the company descriptions section. you can add a link to your website and post any other information to attract more applicants. Such page contains all active jobs posted by this company in the second tab of the page.3. Search Workers We'cruitish created a smart keyword search system that carefully scans each candidate’s profile and each listing for the right keywords so that you can always find the best candidates for your vacancies.4. Employer Dashboard You have all the necessary tools to manage our jobs, see stats by job views, view applications from job seekers and manage profile settings in your dashboard.5. Applicant Tracking An appealing “kanban” style board allows categorizing applications by hiring status, look through all the information about a candidate, contact applicants and insert notes for each application.Click here to sign up https://wecruitish.com/sign-upOur no subscription! services let you pay only when you want Per Job Post Pay only when you need to post. Whats included?1 job postingno subscription!Featured Job Feature your Job to reach more candidates. Whats included?5X more exposure & applicationsJob stays top of search results1 Featured job postingDatabase Access Everything you need to grow your company Whats included?Monthly Resume AccessInvite candidate to a jobMessage CandidatesWith over 3,000 page views per day, once you post a job on our board you will get qualified candidates that match your job requirement. With We'cruitish Reduce your payroll up to 70%Highly educated professionals are ready to perform job/task that can be done remotely for a fraction of the cost you would pay traditionally in an office setting.Become a part of the We'cruitish team today!! Don't hesitate candidates are waiting for you
@MDMagazine Thanks for the shout-out
After a surprise diagnosis at age 36, Paula Carrillo finds success with overcoming stage 2A #colorectalcancer with Dr. Michael Overman: https://t.co/iVnpQGygSR #CancerMoonshot #endcancer
@GKHoustonMethod Thanks for the shout-out
@bernd_montag @SiemensHealth Appreciate the shout-out
Two of the graduate education programs at Cizik School of Nursing at UTHealth were ranked among the highest in the nation in the just-released 2020 edition of the Best Graduate Schools guide by U.S. News and World Report.
Veteran reopens family business in Sweetwater https://t.co/no8JZ6xvjW via @MCADnews
Angiogenesis is the process of creating new blood vessels. Learn how angiogenesis inhibitors work in treating cancer: https://t.co/z42nWglE58 #endcancer
U.S. Department of Veterans AffairsVeteransAffairs
Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Army Veteran Aida Nancy Sanchez. Aida served during the Vietnam War from 1952 to 1976.Aida was born in Santurce, Puerto Rico in November 1931. She graduated at the age of 15 and won a scholarship to attend St. Mary of the Woods College in Indiana. She graduated in 1952 with a bachelor’s degree in biology and chemistry. Upon graduation, she applied and was accepted into the army physical therapy school program with an age waiver due to being under 21 at the time. Aida then headed to Fort Sam Houston, Texas to attend and graduate from the program in 1953. This is where she also met then General Dwight Eisenhower. Afterwards, she was assigned to the Brooke Army Medical Centre at Fort Sam Houston then to Fitzsimmons Army General Hospital in Denver, Colorado around 1956. During this assignment, Aida met President Eisenhower when he came to visit his friend whom was her patient. She stated that he remembered her from the physical therapy school and sent a pot of stew he made a day or two after the visit.After she completed her assignment at Fitzsimmons, she was sent to Rodriguez Army Hospital in Puerto Rico until she was discharged from active duty and went into the army reserves for two years. During that time, Aida worked for the Edward Hines Jr. VA Hospital in Hines, Illinois for a year before becoming the Director of the Bureau of Crippled Children within the Department of Health of Puerto Rico. During her time in Puerto Rico, she received a letter from the Department of Defense stating that they needed more physical therapists, so she decided to return to active duty. Her first assignment was the burn unit at Brooke Army Medical Center, then she was sent to Fort Bragg, North Carolina for a year or two. Afterwards, Aida was sent to Fort Myer, Virginia to establish a physical therapy clinic within the Andrew Rader Clinic at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Once setting up the unit, Aida was sent to graduate school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and upon graduation was assigned to Letterman Army Medical Center to oversee the clinical affiliations of five universities located near the hospital.Aida’s next assignment was to become the assistant chief of physical therapy at the Tripler Army Medical Center in Hawaii before she received orders to deploy in support of the Vietnam War in 1970. She was originally sent to the Army hospital in Saigon to replace the physical therapist but was routed to the 95th Evacuation Hospital near Da Nang to establish the first physical therapy clinic within the hospital. During her tour of duty, Aida was extended to deploy to Cambodia and assist then President Lon Nol because she had previously helped him during his stay at the Tripler Army Medical Center. She was constantly flying back and forth between Vietnam and Cambodia to help the president get physically better. She assisted many American and Cambodian soldiers and citizens with their physical therapy needs while deployed. After Aida redeployed, she was sent to Fort Gordon as the chief physical therapist who oversaw the transfer of the physical therapy clinic from older barracks into the newly built Eisenhower Army Medical Center. It took about six years to complete the task and Aida retired as a Lieutenant Colonel shortly after with about 24 years of service.Thank you for your service, Aida!
Join us, @TexasChildrens and @SPARKforAutism at a Community Awareness Research Event for underrepresented communities this Saturday. Register here: https://t.co/uNhKL7aXnM #autism #autismresearch https://t.co/KBpDj7yRQD
Baylor College of MedicineBaylorCollegeOfMedicine
Learn how Dr. Lisa Hollier is helping to shine a spotlight on maternal mortality and working to make childbirth safer for women around the world. #OBGYN
MD Anderson Cancer CenterMDAnderson
"With all of this support and love, it’s difficult to not be positive. Of course, some days were harder than others. I still remember how weak I sometimes felt and how uncomfortable it was to wear a pump after chemo," says Paula Carrillo."Still, I won’t complain. Despite the sudden bad news, I got a second chance, thanks to my family, my friends and my team at MD Anderson." #endcancer