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PSNet: Patient Safety Network
Journal Article

Predictors of in-hospital postoperative opioid overdose after major elective operations: a nationally representative cohort study.

Cauley CE, Anderson G, Haynes AB, et al. Annals of surgery. 2017;265:702-708.

The large surge in opioid use is a serious patient safety problem. This retrospective study revealed that risk of postoperative inpatient opioid overdose increased over time. Patients with a substance abuse history were more likely to experience a postoperative opioid overdose, but hospital characteristics did not predict this complication. This finding suggests that high-risk patient characteristics should be taken into account in prescribing opioids after surgery.