New research finds that hospital-acquired pneumonia may be linked to opioid use. The research was presented at the 2017 American Academy of Pain Medicine Annual Meeting, which showed that patients who were prescribed fentanyl, morphine, codeine, or related products for around 100 days before hospitalization carry an increased risk for hospital-acquired pneumonia. Over 40,000 patients, ranging in age from 18 to 70 years old, participated in the four-year study conducted in nearly 20 hospitals. In around 20,000 patients who received any inpatient fentanyl, codeine, or morphine, infection rates were 0.79 percent; and in about 20,000 patients who did not receive any opioids, the rate was 0.39 percent. A high risk existed among immune-suppressed individuals and those with frail and/or weakened constitutions. The research suggested that it may be due to the opioid’s immune suppression abilities.
A high mortality risk is associated with hospital-acquired pneumonia, so patients in weakened states who take opioids may contract the infection when hospitalized, which could potentially lead to fatalities. Although opioids may relieve debilitating pain, hazards like addictions, severe medical conditions, or even fatalities may accompany its use.
Medical Malpractice Lawyers Eisenberg Rothweiler Serve Victims of Hospital-Acquired Infections
If you or someone you love developed a hospital-acquired infection, contact our medical malpractice lawyers at Eisenberg Rothweiler Winkler Eisenberg & Jeck at 866-746-0839 or contact us online. We represent clients throughout the country.