Monday, November 20, 2017

ACEP Study Provides New Perspectives on Dealing with Opioid Crisis

Ken Mwatha received his bachelor of science in zoology from the University of Wyoming. He went on to pursue a medical degree from the John Hopkins School of Medicine. Since 2013, Ken Mwatha has served as an attending physician at St. Agnes Hospital Department of Emergency Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland. Dr. Mwatha is also a member of the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP).

Established in 1968, ACEP is a professional organization that caters to physicians who provide emergency care. To date, the organization has a membership of 34,000 with mostly emergency physicians, residents, and medical students joining. Apart from upholding the highest standards of emergency care provision, ACEP also provides an avenue for sharing profession-related research at its annual meeting. 

During this year’s meeting, a study was presented that provides some new insights into the ongoing opioid crisis. The ACEP president, Paul Kivela, acknowledged that the crisis has drastically affected emergency departments across the nation. According to the study led by Harvard Medical School professor Scott Weiner, MD, FACEP, despite the improved availability of the opioid overdose antidote Naloxone in emergency departments, around ten percent of those who are treated for an opiod overdose die within a year. This means that even though overdose patients have received the appropriate treatment, they should still be considered as high-risk for an overdose and should be referred to more resources, such as counseling.

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