Approximately 130 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose.
It is estimated that 20% to 30% of people who take prescription opioids misuse them, and about 10% of the people who misuse opioids become addicted to them.
In 2017 alone, 47,600 fatal overdoses involving at least one opioid occurred in America. That year, doctors issued more than 191,000,000 opioid prescriptions.
These staggering statistics revolve around a vicious cycle of the need for treatment of pain, followed by addiction to that treatment, causing even more pain and a greater need for yet more pain relief drugs.
With September being National Recovery Month, this is the opportune time to talk about a solution to this drug abuse epidemic. Troy, Michigan-based UnaSource Surgery Center is making every effort to raise awareness about one particular resource that can help patients recover and heal safely — without the use of narcotics.
The Pain Relief Pump
According to NBC News reports, five doctors in New York were indicted in 2018 by federal authorities for writing more than 8.5 million allegedly unnecessary oxycodone prescriptions. Prosecutors alleged that the prescriptions resulted in the deaths of several people as well as multiple overdoses.
This is only one example of the devastating effects of opioid abuse and misuse, one that reinforces UnaSource Surgery Center’s belief in using a continuous infusion pump as a pain relief alternative to opioid drugs.
UnaSource Surgery Center offers the non-narcotic pain relief pump for more centralized pain management, helping to reduce dependence on oral pain relief medications.
Designed to keep patients comfortable after surgery without the use of narcotics, the small, disposable pump delivers an anesthetic directly to the surgical area. The pump is filled with a solution of the local anesthetic Ropivacaine, which is similar to Novocaine or Lidocaine.
The solution blocks nerve impulses to freeze the nerves. The anesthesia, therefore, eliminates or lowers the need for narcotic pain relief, helping to reduce addiction and other negative side effects associated with these drugs.
Prior to surgery, an anesthesiologist will insert a small catheter near the surgical site. The disposable pump is then connected to that catheter after surgery.
The ON-Q Pain Relief System, the continuous infusion pump used at UnaSource Surgery Center, includes a numbered dial that is used to control the flow rate of the anesthetic. The anesthesiologist will determine the appropriate rate of anesthetic that should be used, and a UnaSource Surgery Center nurse will show patients how to increase or decrease the flow as needed.
The portable pump, which is about the size of a softball when full, can be placed in a small sack that can be carried around the waist or around the neck.
Once the pump has flattened, all of the medication has been used and the patient can simply remove the catheter from under the skin and dispose of the entire system.
Benefits of Using the ON-Q Pain Relief System
The ON-Q pain pump serves not only the patient during recovery, but also the general community, well into the future.
The negative effects of opioids and other narcotics extend far beyond the user’s mind, body, and spirit. The components of these drugs also contaminate waterways, and the containers may contribute to plastic pollution in landfills.
More importantly, unused opioids may fall into the wrong hands — such as those of a curious toddler — and create a poisoning hazard. Furthermore, others may try to obtain these drugs in order to sell them.
The ON-Q Pain Relief System helps prevent all of these concerns.
- It greatly reduces the possibility of addiction or illegal drug trafficking.
- It works continuously and autonomously, which makes it impossible to forget to take your medication or take more than prescribed.
- It keeps poisons away from the hands of children and pets.
- It keeps drugs and their containers out of the trash, where address labels can be used for fraudulent purposes.
- It reduces the need for numerous plastic pill bottles and packaging that may eventually end up in a landfill.
- It eliminates the chance of water contamination because there are no pills to flush or throw away.
- It helps prevent diseases related to drug addiction, such as HIV.
Few ambulatory surgery centers and hospitals in the area offer a pain relief pump as an option, but we at UnaSource Surgery Center are proud to do so. USC’s anesthesia team, Long Lake Anesthesiology Consultants, has a commitment to innovation and pain control that is second to none.
Watch our video to see how the ON-Q Pain Relief System is used at UnaSource Surgery Center.
For more information, contact UnaSource Surgery Center at 248-265-4600.