"Every time you put a child in a pediatric ICU bed, you're using a very limited resource", lead study author and Comer Children's Hospital professor Jason Kane said, CNN reported.
Between 2004 and 2015, over 3,600 kids and teens were admitted to 31 children's hospitals in the USA for an opioid overdose; 43% of these patients had to be placed in the ICU.
Dr. Kane said about 20 percent of the youngest children were poisoned by methadone, an opioid used to treat moderate to severe pain or opioid dependence in adults This means many young children are likely finding their parents' medication and ingesting it, Dr. Kane said.
MONDAY, March 5, 2018 A growing number of USA kids are ending up in the intensive care unit after overdosing on prescription painkillers or other opioids, a new study finds. At least 42.9 percent of the hospitalized patients required admission to pediatric ICU while others were supported with mechanical ventilator and vasopressors. Ryan said that when they have legitimate prescriptions for opioids, they need to keep the medication out of the sight and reach of young children. Opioid-related stays increased from nearly 800 to 1,500 during the study.
Prescription opioids such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, and morphine are powerful painkillers.
An estimated 2.4 million Americans have an opioid use disorder, according to federal estimates. They found that between 2004 and 2015, there were a total of 3,647 opioid-related hospitalizations in 31 different hospitals.
The study didn't differentiate between kids who ingested prescription painkillers or other opioids intentionally and those who did so accidentally.
The study took the most recent look at the opioid epidemic sweeping the United States. And while most children had overdosed on prescription opioids or illicit narcotics like heroin, a significant number of children under 6-about 20%-were treated for methadone overdoses. "We will use whatever tools we have to hold people accountable for breaking our laws", said Sessions.
And in 2016 a team at the Yale School of Medicine found the number of kids who received emergency treatment for a drug overdose more than doubled between 1997 and 2012.
The focus of drugs is usually adults, but children are now "the second wave of victims", Kane said.