Seattle Children's hospital scraps opioids from ASC

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Seattle Children's hospital is seeing the benefits of eliminating opioids during surgery at its ASC in Bellevue, Wash., local news outlet KIRO 7 News reported July 20.

Initially, the surgery center planned to reduce intraoperative opioid use, but the ASC's medical director Lynn Martin, MD, an anesthesiologist, decided to remove them completely.

"Nothing earth-shattering happened," according to Dr. Martin, who said patients actually saw some advantages, including waking up faster post-surgery as well as less nausea and vomiting.

The ASC used a combination of other drugs, without morphine or other opioids, for children undergoing tonsillectomies, hernia surgeries and procedures for sports injuries.

Now, following the surgery center's success, the main hospital is reducing intraoperative opioids during major surgeries, which has led to shorter stays and decreases the risk of addiction for young patients, according to the report.

"I think it is a very positive step," Rosemary Orr, MD, an anesthesiologist at Seattle Children's told KIRO 7 News. "Anything that reduces the amount of available opioids in the community is going to change things."

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