New persistent opioid use was recently described as the most common postoperative complication after surgery in the United States.1 Less is known about the extent to which this problem occurs after intensive care unit (ICU) care, a setting where opioid use is common and considerable proportions of patients receive opioid prescriptions at discharge.2 Persistent opioid use may be a part of the post–intensive care syndrome, a syndrome of cognitive, psychiatric, and/or physical disability after treatment in an ICU.3 In this study, we measure new persistent opioid use in patients discharged after postoperative intensive care within the Veterans Health Administration. We also report changes over time and values before and after 2013, when both the initiation of the Veterans Health Administration Opioid Safety Initiative (OSI) and release of pain, agitation, and delirium (PAD) guidelines for patients with critical illness occurred.4,5
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Karamchandani K, Pyati S, Bryan W, et al. New Persistent Opioid Use After Postoperative Intensive Care in US Veterans. JAMA Surg. Published online June 05, 2019. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2019.0899
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