Outpatient Surgery Magazine

Special Edition: Opioids - January 2020 - Subscribe to Outpatient Surgery Magazine

Outpatient Surgery Magazine, providing current information on Surgical Services, Surgical Facility Administration, Outpatient Surgery News and Trends, OR Excellence and more.

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opioids with benzodi- azepines or alcohol, which can lead to fatal respiratory arrest. Counsel patients and their caregivers on how to properly store and dispose of controlled substances. It's not always the patients who receive prescribed opioids who end up misusing them; friends and family members with access to unsecured or leftover medications are also at risk. Similarly, warn patients about taking nonprescribed opi- oids they "borrowed" from a friend or relative. 2. Screen for risk factors Check if patients have a history of opioid abuse or chronic use to determine if greater care is needed to monitor their current usage or if the medications should be avoided altogether. Review patients' med- ical records for information about prior use of prescribed opioids and check state-run databases to see if patients have a history with con- trolled substances that might not be noted in their personal records. Pre-op screening should also include conversations with patients about elements of their health histories — and the health histories of their family members — that could make them prone to opioid mis- use, including substance use disorder, excessive alcohol and tobacco consumption, and history of depression or anxiety. 3. Communicate with compassion Post-op phone calls should include a discussion of any ongoing issues patients are having with the healing process, assessment of the pain level they're experiencing and checking to ensure they've stopped using opioids if their pain has resolved. Remember to use compassion 5 6 • O U T PA T I E N T S U R G E R Y M A G A Z I N E • J A N U A R Y 2 0 2 0 It's not always the patients who receive prescribed opioids who end up misusing them.

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