Report finds sharp rise in admissions, deaths at intensive care units

Friday, August 11, 2017 - 13:32 in Health & Medicine

The same week that President Trump declared the nation’s opioid epidemic a national emergency, investigators at Harvard-affiliated Beth Israel Medical Center reported a sharp rise in opioid-related admissions and deaths in intensive care units since 2009. The new study, published in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society, is believed to be the first to quantify the impact of opioid abuse on critical care resources in the United States. The findings reveal that opioid-related demand for acute care services has outstripped the available supply. The president announced the emergency designation on Thursday, following the recommendation of a presidential panel focused on the opioid crisis. The panel includes Professor Bertha K. Madras of Harvard Medical School. Analyzing data from the period between Jan. 1, 2009, and Sept. 31, 2015, the Beth Israel researchers documented a 34 percent increase in overdose-related ICU admissions. The average cost of care per ICU overdose admission rose by 58...

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