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    The epidemic of opioid-related overdose in the United States prompted a public health response that included implementation of opioid prescribing guidelines and restrictions. Such directives, however, were not applicable to hospitalized trauma patients. We hypothesized that although prescribing mandates did not apply to hospitalized trauma patients, inpatient opioid administration had nonetheless decreased over time. Opioid administrations for each patient admitted to a level I trauma center between January 1, 2016 and July 31, 2020 were converted into oral morphine milligram equivalents (MMEs) and summed at the patient level to obtain a total amount of MME administered for each hospitalization. MME was natural log transformed to achieve a normal distribution. General linear models were then used to determine the average patient MME administered by year. Patients who were pregnant or mechanically ventilated during their hospitalization were excluded. Six thousand five hundred ninety-four patients were included in our analysis, of which 5037 (76.4%) were treated with opioids during their hospitalization (morphine 72.7%, oxycodone 9.6%, tramadol 10.2%, fentanyl 5.5%, and hydromorphone 2.1%). The percentage of patients administered an opioid decreased stepwise from 79.3% in 2016 to 71.4% in 2020 (P < .001). For patients administered opioids, a 28% decrease in average total MME from 2016 to 2020 (P < .001) was observed. When stratified by ISS (<9, 9-15, 16+), average total MME consistently trended downward over time. Our trauma center realized a stepwise reduction in opioid administration in the absence of rules or restrictions surrounding in-hospital opioid prescribing.


    Olufemi C Oladokun, Jennifer L Glatt, Ethan A Ferrel, Sophia S Bonnin, Stephanie Miljkovic, Katherine Hsueh, Abby M Lawson, Christopher Yossi, Kristina M Chapple, Jordan A Weinberg, Hahn Soe-Lin. The Declining Use of Opioids at a Level 1 Trauma Center. The American surgeon. 2023 Jun;89(6):2439-2444

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    PMID: 35537199

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