Clinical Edge

Summaries of Must-Read Clinical Literature, Guidelines, and FDA Actions

Opioid-Related Adverse Events in Surgical Patients

JAMA Surg; ePub 2018 May 23; Shafi, et al

Opioid-related adverse drug events are common among patients undergoing hospital-based invasive procedures and are associated with worse patient clinical and cost outcomes, a recent study found. The retrospective study of clinical and administrative data included 135,379 adult patients (67.5% female) and examined the incidence of opioid-related adverse drug events (ORADEs) in patients undergoing hospital-based surgical and endoscopic procedures. Researchers found:

  • 14,386 (10.6%) patients in the study population experienced at least 1 ORADE.
  • Patients with ORADEs were more likely to be older, of white race/ethnicity, and male and have more comorbidities.
  • Patients with ORADEs received a higher total dose of opioids and for a longer duration.
  • ORADEs were associated with increased inpatient mortality, greater likelihood of discharge to another care facility, prolonged length of stay, high cost of hospitalization, and higher rate of 30-day readmission.


Shafi S, Collinsworth AW, Copeland LA, et al. Association of opioid-related adverse drug events with clinical and cost outcomes among surgical patients in a large integrated health care delivery system. [Published online ahead of print May 23, 2018]. JAMA Surg. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2018.1039.

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