Thank you kranny!!! You took the words right out of my mouth! I had the
International Coalition for Drug Awareness where we focus on this very issue.
Would love to have you join us.Interesting to note, another study
done by pharmacists in 1995, due to concern that the drugs they were dispensing
were killing too many, was published in "Drug Topics." They concluded
that the death toll for taking prescription meds "as prescribed" was
200,000. So according to the JAMA study you quote, over a five year period the
death toll increased by 50,000. Now if the deaths continued to increase only at
that rate (although I would expect it to have increased at a much higher rate
over the last few years) we should now, 17 years later, have a death toll of at
least 420,000 annually. Losing 420,000 per year would be like having
at least two 9/11 tragedies hit this country every week! We went to war for how
many years over only one 9/11? Where is the outcry for all of these
senseless pharmaceutical deaths?! And people are concerned about guns?! It
appears to me that shooting pills is far more lethal!
Sounds like the problem was that they didn't know people had sleep apnea.
Did they look at the level of anesthesia they were given, pain drugs during
surgery, amount of pain drugs they were given?I know so many
individuals that have had sleep apnea, surgeries with pretty strong pain drugs
after, and have been fine after. Many. Perhaps they need to look at what else is
going on or the individuals may have in common? Were they all given the same
kind of pain drugs?We have to be careful to not go too far the other
direction where we are not doing good pain management for people. Condolences to
all the families involved. Tragic losses.
Two patients die of post op complications supposedly due to a narcotic reaction
in Roosevelt Utah in 6 months of each other? There are two things that
must be checked. 1) I'd be checking to see what the lot number on the
oxycodone that was given, maybe it was too strong (unlikely). and 2)
Tonsillectomy has one of the most painful post op experiences. Recently there
have been meetings with physicians in Utah and conversations with them to reduce
the number of pain pills prescribed and dosages . In those meetings they have
stated that for all procedures the dosage and amount of pills can and should be
reduced . . . except for tonsillectomy; it is that painful. And to have
someone die two days post op when the throat hurts the worst doesn't make
sense. Either it hurt so much that he took too many pills (probably, but they
don't state what the toxicology report said in the article) or he was on
another narcotic like methadone and combination depressed his respiratory drive.
There are thousands of tonsillectomies done on mostly kids and there are very
few narcotic problems in most of them. There is more to this than just someone
dying from taking percocet post op.
Like stated earlier, a healthy person doesn’t die from an underdose of
pills. An autopsy needed to be performed. We shouldn’t speculate cause of
death. It needs to be verified.
A small percentage of people are hurt, some very few even killed. If better
monitoring will help reduce problems then that is great!I worry that
the overwhelming majority who heal faster and more easily without pain get swept
under the rug in the current panic over the small minority. I worry even more
about people with chronic pain for whom opioids are the current least bad
solution in Utah. Chronic pain can shut down someone's life also.
Our son went into full cardiopulmonary attest while recovering from outpatient
surgery at home. Before leaving the hospital they gave him morphine, Percocet
and OxyContin within a 20 minute span of time even though he described his pain
level at a five. Had we not checked on him when we did and administered CPR he
would be dead. He spent one week in the ICU with multiple organ failure and
fortunately fully recovered. This was an obvious case of a physician
administered drug overdose for which no one took responsibility. For proof
I’d offer never seeing a bill for from the hospital for a weeks stay in
the ICU but also never any recognition they’d done anything wrong. Reading
this story I realize just how close we came to losing him and how tragically
rampant this problem has become.
Tylenal is one of the most dangerous pain killers on the market. Overdose is
easy with deadly results.It isnt just opioidsa that have risks.Why do the same people who quote scripture about every herb of the field
when it comes to pot, conveniently forget that poppies are also one of
God's creations?Some have a high pain tolerance, others enjoy
good health.There are those who need powerful pain killers to lead
productive lives.Don't make life hard on them.
We can scream all we want about this but the main core of the problem is well
protected within the layers of political power at the federal level. The career
politicians will always turn a blind eye because of the incentives and perks
they get from the big powerful pharmaceutic companies. As mentioned in this
article, the risk for this is common knowledge among medical doctors and then,
of course, drug companies will always put a disclaimer on their labels to cover
their hind ends in case of a side effect to the public. We need to vote out the
senators who are always sided with pharmaceutical companies and shield them from
accountability, from office. My heartfelt condolences to this
family and others who may have been affected by the same predicament.
Why are these drugs still being used?If they are as dangerous as
they appear to be, then stop, now. Don't send your patients home with a
monitor, just don't use it, or monitor them in the hospital while
they're on the drug. You wouldn't sleep with a loaded
gun. Take these drugs off the market. Stop prescribing them.What does it
take for people to get serious about this?
This can be traced back to an FDA that has lost its way. COX-2 inhibitors are
the answer to this problem. They are powerful pain relievers but don't
suppress the CNS or cause addiction. The FDA has made them out to be dangerous.
Arcoxia is being used throughout the world, but the FDA won't approve it
here. So physicians are left with opioids. Today's FDA would not approve
acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
This is always a pain nobody can understand unless they have been there. I do
give Hugh credit to the Physician who actually spoke out about the issue. Most
Doctor's are so afraid of Malpractice claims, they would distance
themselves as much as possible. However, I also believe the Doctor experienced
two separate (Very rare) events, closely related in time. For the majority of
society (When taken properly), generally only have mild side affects (If
any).The fact is; there are people in desperate need of narcotic
pain medications on a daily basis. By putting such a "Stigma" on Pain
Medications, this will likely affect these people's ability to have any
quality of life! Sadly, due to the Heroin epidemic currently sweeping the
Country, people who cannot manage to get off of medications, easily obtain
Heroin in place of other regulated narcotics. I will say, most of these people
started their addiction on prescribed medications. However, attempting to allow
the D.E.A. and other Government intrusions into the Doctor patient relationship
is unacceptable! Doctor's will become afraid of Arrest (Or investigation),
and stop prescribing needed medications. This is not acceptable.
Why aren't these trained doctors better educated in school, let alone by
Big pharma reps, about these lethal side-effects, not only of opioids, but of
all toxic drugs? These harmful side-effects aren't new to the
medical/pharmaceutical industries. Barbara Starfield M.D. published an article
in a 2002 JAMA (Journal of American Medical Association), the medical journal
that doctors should be familiar with, about drug-related deaths due to patients
taking drugs as prescribed, and not abused. Taking statistics from the year
2000, she reported that over 250,000 deaths were attributed to drug interactions
and medical procedures, making it the third leading cause of death in the United
States, behind only heart disease and cancer deaths. Imagine what that number is
today? Ignorance is driving too much of this current plague.Or, are
doctors aware of the problem, and simply being complicit to their mother
industries, for fear of negative impact to their careers and retribution.
A T&A is not an innocuous operation and there is a couple of weeks recovery
period with varying severity of pain. Best to take nothing for pain if you can
do without. Post op bleeding is the complication the dr fears, and all patients
are at risk for it.
When I had my hip replaced the doctor put me on opiods while I was in rehab .
The pills made me sick and I decided to quit talking them. My rehab physician
insisted that I must take them.. When I checked out of rehab they had a sheet of
punch out pills, opiods and told me to take them home. "Why should I take
them at home ?" I asked "if I told you I wouldn't take them in l
rehab". I soon discocvered why. They had already billed me for all the pills
I should have taken. I threw them in the trash.
Thank you for addressing this!My mother is still in the hospital after her
oxygen dropped to 55 percent, she was in a coma and nearly gone with phenomena
from shallow breathing. I always felt it was caused from these medications. I
support this doctor 100 percent!
Like other commentors, I applaud this family and the doctor for their
willingness to discusss this tragedy in public, and for their willingness to
question current medical practice. Glad this doctor has the courage to
acknowledge that our current healthcare system does not lend itself to open
disclosure.My sympathy to the family.
There are some developments in the works to come up with pain relief that
doesn't rely on opioids which, in addition to suppressing sensations of
pain, can also suppress the respiratory system. Not to mention the horrible
problems of addiction. Let's hope they work as well as some theorize and
are made available ASAP.
Kudos to the doctor for investigating these tragedies further and making this
The FDA's handling of opioid research is suspect, when doctors are being
surprised. An instant investigation into the FDA's handling is in order,
along with an immediate recall of all opioids where ever they have been
distributed. Anything less is unacceptable, if not criminal. The whole review
process needs careful and meticulous examination.
If he was a healthy 21-year old, the medical examiner should have performed an
autopsy. It simply won't do to merely speculate that this poor young
man's death was caused by a combination of an opioid and acetaminophen.
Like this young man, I, too, had a tonsillectomy at age 21, and I, too, ended up
with "fluid" in my lungs. That "fluid" was blood, caused when
the wounds from my surgery hemorrhaged and the blood from the wounds went into
my airway and thence into my lungs. Fortunately, I was still in the hospital at
the time and a fast-thinking doctor was able to save my life.My
condolences to the family.
There is an agenda, Georgia Guide Stones, everyone isn't trustworthy. Not
even the drug company.
So, so sad. Everyone's worst nightmare. That's awesome the doctor was
able to put aside his own ego, as he calls it, to dig deeper into this issue and
is now taking the extra step to protect his patients. Great information to keep