Opioid Overdose ER Cases Rise 30% According to CDC

By on March 13, 2018

From Modern Healthcare:  Although providers and federal and state agencies have increased their efforts to curb the opioid epidemic, new data released Tuesday shows that emergency department visits related to opioid overdose have increased across the country.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed that emergency department rates have risen in all five regions of the country from 2016 to 2017, jumping 30% in 52 jurisdictions across 45 states in the same time frame. Data was taken from the CDC’s National Syndromic Surveillance Program, which covers 45 states; it recorded 91 million ED visits in that period, with 142,557 being suspected opioid overdoses.

Acting CDC Director Dr. Anne Schuchat said emergency departments play a vital role in connecting patients with proper treatment. She suggested emergency clinicians should intervene to prevent repeat overdoses by administering medication-assisted treatments such as buprenorphine and naltrexone. In addition, individuals could also serve as navigators to follow up with overdose patients and help connect them with recovery care after they have been discharged, she said.

The data obtained from EDs is already being used to help local and state health departments as well as other stakeholders better identify where resources are needed.

The ED should refer the patients to other caregivers who can address their longer-term needs, Schuchat said during a call with reporters on Tuesday. “We think that emergency departments are essential hubs in this fast-moving epidemic.”

Midwestern states experienced a 70% rise in such cases during the study period, while Western states had a 40% increase. Opioid overdose-related ED visits rose by 21% in the Northeast, 20% in the Southwest, and 14% among Southeastern states.

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