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    We’re in an epidemic. Increased prescription of opioid medications in the late 1990s and early 2000s led to widespread misuse of opioids- to the point that the U.S. The Department of Health and Human Services declared a public health emergency in 2017. With the increase in opioid abuse across the nation, a focus has been placed on understanding non-opioid medications to allow for safe and effective anesthesia without opioids. 


    What are opioids?


    Opioids are medications that treat persistent or severe pain. Unfortunately, opioids have a high risk of becoming addictive, especially when they’re used to manage chronic pain for long periods of time. Pullman Anesthesia offers reduced opioid and opioid-free anesthesia as pain management options for medical procedures.


    The Pullman Anesthesia  team is composed of Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) that are highly trained at providing anesthesia and care before, during, and after procedures. They also provide pain management options for people dealing with chronic pain. As members of the Society of Opioid Free Anesthesia (SOFA), the Pullman Anesthesia team is dedicated to reducing risks and side effects of opioid use. 


    What is reduced opioid and opioid-free anesthesia?


    Corey Johnson, CRNA at Pullman Anesthesia, explains that “reduced opioid and opioid-free anesthesia is an anesthesia technique where the anesthesia provider uses a multifaceted approach to your anesthetic plan to include non-opioid pain medication by mouth and intravenously.” It also incorporates peripheral nerve blockers, which is where local anesthesia is placed near nerves that are associated with pain sensation specific to the surgical site; this can reduce or eliminate the need for opioids to control pain for your surgical plan. 


    What are the benefits?


    Johnson says that, “the benefits of reduced or opioid free anesthesia are multifaceted.” Opioids have side effects that can make surgical recovery more complicated- such as itching, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, constipation, addiction, and possible abuse. “Anytime we can reduce these side effects we increase your surgical experience and success,” says Johnson. 


    Johnson wants people to know that there are safe and effective pain management options for them. “Being in significant pain to avoid opioid pain medications is not helpful in your surgical recovery. Controlling pain is still the goal whether opioids are needed or not.” 


    If you have an upcoming procedure at Pullman Regional Hospital and want to learn more about the pain management options available, Pullman Anesthesia is here for you. Schedule a consultation or request more information by giving them a call at (509) 336-7569. 

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