Navigation Links
Elderly emergency patients less likely to receive pain medication than middle-aged patients

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- A new study finds that people 75 years old or older are less likely to receive any pain medication in hospital emergency departments than middle aged people those between 35 and 54 years old.

And these differences remained even after researchers took into account how much pain the patients were having, said Timothy F. Platts-Mills, MD, lead author of the study and assistant professor of emergency medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine.

For example, among older adults reporting severe pain, 67 percent received pain medication, compared to 79 percent of middle aged patients with severe pain.

"We're not exactly sure why this happens," Platts-Mills said. "It may be because physicians are more concerned about potential side effects in this population.

"To us, the gap we observe in pain management for older patients highlights the need to better understand how best to manage pain in older patients and understand the barriers to doing this. All patients, regardless of age, deserve to have relief from pain, especially when it is severe. Our group is actively investigating the side effects of commonly used pain medication and the impact of pain on functional outcomes after injury in older adults. We think that for most older emergency department patients providing effective treatment for acute pain is likely to result in a substantial net benefit," Platts-Mills said.

The study was published online ahead of print by the journal Annals of Emergency Medicine.

Emergency departments (EDs) are an important source of acute care for older adults, with over 20 million ED visits by patients 65 and older each year. Almost half of these visits are for the evaluation and treatment of pain.

Platts-Mills and study co-authors conducted a secondary analysis of data collected from U.S. emergency departments between 2003 and 2009 in order to test the hypothesis 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.

Contact: Tom Hughes
University of North Carolina School of Medicine

Related medicine news :

1. Researcher finds elderly lose ability to distinguish between odors
2. Stepchildren May Step Up to Help Elderly Stepparents
3. Many company closures await when elderly small business owners retire
4. Study finds no link between elderly patient activity and hospital falls
5. Slower Walking Speed Linked to Surgical Risk in Elderly
6. Elderly long-term care residents suffer cognitively during disasters
7. Lasers Safe for Removal of Pacemaker Wires in Elderly: Study
8. Elderly patients may be undertreated for prostate cancer
9. Elderly breast cancer patients risk treatment discrimination
10. Some memory complaints in the elderly may be warning signs of cognitive problems
11. Institute for Aging Research study finds Bostons elderly homeless sicker than others
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Elderly emergency patients less likely to receive pain medication than middle-aged patients
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Genesis Chiropractic Software helps practice ... an agreement between the practice owner and the patient that automatically manages all ... projections. Click here to learn more. , According to ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... , ... November 24, 2015 , ... Charitable giving is ... donations are made in the last five weeks of the year totalling over $358 ... in 2012 to connect the nation’s charities with those individuals who want to “give ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... IL (PRWEB) , ... November 24, 2015 , ... ... are national leaders when it comes to several aspects of orthopedic care. They ... joint replacements, orthopedic surgeries and general orthopedic care. , Becker's Hospital Review ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... In response to recent news highlighting ... from prescription opioids in the United States grew 400 percent between 1999 and 2010, ... were involved in 37 percent of all fatal drug overdoses. (1) , While oxycodone ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 24, 2015 , ... Serenity Point ... a series of recent video interviews with some of the staff members at their ... the residential treatment facility, as well as some of the things that make their ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... -- st  Scientific Assembly and Annual Meeting of the ... place in Chicago on Nov-29 th ... st  Scientific Assembly and Annual Meeting of the Radiological Society ... Chicago on Nov-29 th through Dec-4 ... Dynamics will present its revolutionary whole body CZT digital SPECT/CT solution ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... LONDON , November 24, 2015 The uptake ... (T1DM), will be a key driver of market growth to 2021, ... of recently approved and pipeline premium products for Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus ... says GBI Research . --> The ... Mellitus (T1DM), will be a key driver of market growth to 2021, ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... San Diego -based Imprimis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ... the development, production and dispensing of novel compounded ... therapeutic segments including ophthalmology, urology, sinus and integrative ... states from four facilities located in ... New Jersey and Pennsylvania.  ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: