Opioid use in children's surgery: Awareness, current state, and advocacy

Kathryn D. Bass, Kurt F. Heiss, Lorraine I. Kelley-Quon, Mehul V. Raval*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


In response to the ongoing opioid epidemic, many surgeons who care for children have reflected upon current practices and the history of our own prescribing. In this editorial review, we provide a brief summary of the origins of opioid use in medicine and surgery, we describe how the ongoing opioid epidemic specifically impacts children and adolescents, and we explore contemporary efforts underway to facilitate evidence-based opioid prescribing. Resources for pediatric surgeons including national guidelines related to safe opioid prescribing and web-based toolkits that may be used to implement change locally are highlighted. The goal of the present manuscript is to introduce opioid stewardship as a guiding principle in pediatric surgery. Level of evidence: LEVEL V (Expert opinion).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2448-2453
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of pediatric surgery
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2020


  • Opioid epidemic
  • Opioid stewardship
  • Pain management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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