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Papers of the Week

2022 Jun




Evaluation of an Opioid-Free Anesthesia Protocol for Elective Abdominal Surgery in a Community Hospital.


Steele J, Spencer R, Emery S, Pereira K
AANA J. 2022 Jun; 90(3):215-223.
PMID: 35604864.


Utilization of opioids for acute pain control during surgical procedures is commonplace for anesthesia providers. Opioid use is associated with many undesirable side effects, including opioid use disorder. Opioid-free anesthesia for surgical procedures using a multimodal approach can reduce these side effects. This quality improvement project evaluated the implementation of an opioid-free anesthesia protocol for elective abdominal surgical procedures in a community hospital. The project had specific aims of detecting a reduction in opioid consumption in the operating room and the first 30 minutes in the post anesthesia recovery unit (PACU) while confirming pain relief comparable to that seen with opioid analgesia. Implementation of the quality improvement protocol resulted in a 79% reduction in the number of patients who received opioids during surgery and provided pain relief through the first 30 minutes in PACU comparable to anesthesia that included opioids. This project confirmed that an opioid-free anesthesia protocol could be successfully implemented within a community hospital for healthy adults undergoing elective abdominal surgery.