A hospital emergency room in New Jersey has started a program that treats most patients without opioids before considering using them. In the first two months, 75 percent of the 300 patients have gone through the program did not need opioids, according to the Associated Press.
The Alternatives to Opiates program is being implemented in New Jersey’s busiest emergency room at St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center in Paterson. Patients with cancer or those with chronic pain who are already dependent on opioids are not included in the program, according to Mark Rosenberg, Chairman of Emergency Medicine at St. Joseph’s.
The program is designed for patients with ailments such as kidney stones, acute low back pain, broken bones, acute headache and migraine pain, according to a hospital news release. It uses targeted non-opioid medications, trigger point injections, nitrous oxide, and ultrasound-guided nerve blocks to treat pain.