December 03, 2017

Pa. health officials visit CHOP to share new opioid guidelines

Opioids Children's Health
Stock_Carroll - CHoP Children's Hospital Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice

The Emergency Department at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

How should opioids be prescribed to children?

The state of Pennsylvania has recently updated its answer to this question. 

Friday Dr. Rachel Levine, the state’s acting health secretary and physician general, visited the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) Friday to introduce the latest guidelines.

In her presentation, Levine noted the growing opioid epidemic and the need for healthcare professionals to administer them more acutely and attentively.

“These guidelines provide pediatricians and family doctors with tools to determine the best form of treatment and work to prevent children from becoming addicted to opioids,” Levine said in a statement

“It is essential that as medical professionals we prescribe these medications carefully so that children and adolescents do not develop opioid-use disorders.”

Other speakers visiting CHOP to discuss the new guidelines were Doug Hock, CHOP chief operating officer; Dr. Francis Wickham Kraemer, pediatrician; and Dr. Carol Ford, one of the task force members.

The task force -- which included some CHOP physicians -- behind the chance assembled 10 prescription guidelines designed to properly treat children and cut the risk for addiction.

Most notable of the changes is an emphasis that prescriptions for children should be administered for the lowest effective dose and only in cases of moderate to severe pain.

The state also recommends psychotherapy, including cognitive-behavioral therapy, for treating pain in lieu of prescribing opioids.

Check out more on Wolf's health proposals here.