Cases of opioid overdose doubling in kids

In children between ages 1 and 17 and those admitted to health centers and pediatric intensive care units with opioid-related diagnoses from 2004 to 2015, research shows that their numbers doubled to 1,504 clients between 2012 and 2015, from 797 patients between 2004 and 2007 as reported in the Monday journal pediatrics. The researchers explained the increase to have resulted after use of their parents prescribed drugs.

Causes of opioid medication poisoning

“Some teenagers would use these drugs for recreational or self-injurious behavior, while some kids would accidentally stumble upon these parents prescribed drugs thus causing the opioid poisoning”. Dr. Jason Kane, an associate professor of pediatrics and critical care at Comer Children’s Hospital in Chicago and a lead author on the study suggested.

Use of methadone drug

Methadone a medication used to curb opioid withdrawal effects and as an analgesic has been identified to cause 20% of the overdose in children fewer than six years of age. However, it is a mystery to identify the source alluding to the increased opioid overdose state.

The research findings revealed that 3,647 patients in 31 children’s healthcare centers all over the country were enrolled with opioid-related diagnoses as per the Pediatric Health Information System Database. The results showed that 43% cases were severe and thus special care in the pediatric intensive care unit. This is a great challenge since nationwide only about 4,100 pediatric ICU beds exist as opposed to the number of adult ICU beds range to 78000.

 Importance’s of preventive control of opioid poisoning

When enrolment of kids with this condition keeps doubling then there is a genuine denial of service to them who really are in need. This should be avoided since this condition is a preventable condition.

Disease ‘secondary victims’

Initially, adults were the secondary victims but according to the CDC, the adult mortality rate due to opioid overdose increased to 42,000 in 2016, a number higher than any other year. However, kids were found to become secondary victims due to opioid addiction as portrayed by the study and relating to the observation suspected by Dr. Rajesh Daftary, medical director of the pediatric emergency department as portrayed by the study at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center.