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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5 8 • 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 Why does the opioid epidemic hit home for you? Ilan Kirsh, my best friend from childhood, died on the stoop of my apartment in New York City because of an opioid overdose. We were attending medical school at the time with plans to enter a profes- sion we both loved. It was a devastating loss. Ilan was a kind, smart and giving person. I think about him constantly and named my son after him to honor his memory. What impact has the crisis had on the way you care for patients? Several years ago, when opioid-related deaths were spiking in western Pennsylvania where I practice, a study was published about general sur- geons giving patients too many opioids after major abdominal surgery (osmag.net/Rf8GBk). It struck a chord and I thought, Are we doing the same thing in our urology practice? We replicated the study and came up with similar, if not worse, results. It was a disconcerting finding — I was overprescribing opi- oids, even after losing my friend to an overdose. What improvements did you make to your pain management protocols? We wanted to show that it was not only possible Q & A Turning Personal Tragedy Into Positive Change Benjamin J. Davies, MD Surgeon champion of opioid-sparing pain management

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