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).
- Opioid epidemic
- Opioid stewardship
- Pain management
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health