eISSN: 1731-2531
ISSN: 1642-5758
Anaesthesiology Intensive Therapy
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vol. 54
Review paper

Are we ready to manage an opioid epidemic in the intensive care unit?

Akshaya K. Das
Ankur Sharma
Nikhil Kothari
Shilpa Goyal

All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Jodhpur, India
Anaesthesiol Intensive Ther 2022; 54, 3: 271–278
Online publish date: 2022/09/02
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The current opioid epidemic has had a massive impact on the critical care sector. This is due to an increase in the number of acute opioid overdose-related admissions and the number of opioid-dependent and opioid-tolerant patients admitted to intensive care units (ICUs). This review discusses the challenges that intensive care physicians face when caring for patients suffering from opioid-related disorders and analyses existing solutions. Preference for non-opioid analgesics, treatment of acute pain in the ICUs to avoid chronic pain syndrome, and education of patients and caregivers are critical to preventing this pandemic.

opioid crisis, opioid withdrawal, chronic ICU pain, COVID-19 pandemic

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