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Elderly emergency patients less likely to receive pain medication than middle-aged patients
Date:11/11/2011

esis that older adults who come to the ED with a primary complaint of pain are less likely to receive pain medication than younger patients.

Their results show that 49 percent of patients 75 and older received an analgesic (such as morphine, oxycodone, or ibuprofen), compared to 68.3 percent of middle-aged patients. Similarly, 34.8 percent of the elderly patients received an opioid (such as morphine or oxycodone) compared to 49.3 percent among the middle-aged.

These differences persisted even after the statistical analyses were adjusted for sex, race/ethnicity, pain severity and other factors. Elderly patients were 19.6 percent less likely to receive an analgesic and 14.6 percent less likely to receive an opioid than middle-aged patients.

Platts-Mills said further research is needed to better understand the long-term impact of acute pain management for older emergency department patients, assess strategies to minimize adverse effects from pain medications, and examine the role of non-pharmacologic pain management for this population.


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Contact: Tom Hughes
tahughes@unch.unc.edu
919-966-6047
University of North Carolina School of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert  

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