Bull Hosp Jt Dis (2013). 2022 Sep;80(3):282-285.
BACKGROUND: There is currently an alarming upward trend in the use of prescription opioids in the pediatric population. Previous medical use of prescription opioids has shown to correlate to non-medical use of prescription opioids. To combat this, institutions have started to look at prescribing patterns to understand and eventually standardize a pain protocol to reduce unnecessary analgesics after surgery. Opioids continue to be used widely for postoperative pain control in orthopedic patients. Therefore, this study examined the prescription patterns within a large pediatric orthopedic hospital consortium after closed reduction and percutaneous pinning for supracondylar humerus fractures.
METHODS: A retrospective analysis was performed in order to understand the prescribing variability in analgesics for this patient population better. Descriptive statistics and chi-squared analysis were used to evaluate for prescribing patterns.
RESULTS: Narcotic medications were prescribed postoperatively to 49.6% of patients. There was no difference in narcotic prescription with length of stay or severity of fracture. Additionally, there were several documented prescribing errors, most commonly by a junior orthopedic resident.
CONCLUSIONS: There is significant variability in prescribing patterns among physicians after pediatric supracondylar humerus fractures. Understanding the patterns and implementing a more standardized approach to pain control may help to combat prescribing errors.