Health Services Research & Development

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Dasinger EA, Branch-Elliman W, Pizer SD, Abdulkerim H, Rosen AK, Charns MP, Hawn MT, Itani KMF, Mull HJ. Association between postoperative opioid use and outpatient surgical adverse events. American journal of surgery. 2019 Apr 1; 217(4):605-612.
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Abstract: BACKGROUND: Opioid-related adverse drug events are common following inpatient surgical procedures. Little is known about opioid prescribing after outpatient surgical procedures and if opioid use is associated with short term risks of outpatient surgical adverse events (AEs). METHODS: VA Corporate Data Warehouse was used to identify opioid use within 48?h for FY2012-14 chart-reviewed cases from a larger VA study of AEs in outpatient surgeries. We estimated a multilevel logistic regression model to determine the effect of opioid exposure on risk of AEs between 2 and 30 days postoperatively. RESULTS: Of the 1730 outpatient surgical cases, 628 (36%) had postoperative opioid use and 12% had an AE. Opioid use following outpatient surgery was not significantly associated with higher surgical AE rates after controlling for relevant covariates (OR?=?1.1 95% CI 0.79-1.54). Only procedure RVUs were associated with higher odds of postoperative AEs. CONCLUSIONS: Postoperative opioid use following outpatient surgery is not a significant driver of postoperative AEs.