I want everyone in the US who reads this to respond if possible. In my hospital we are trying to find out if this is a trend in our hospital or something national. So, please respond!!!
Our hospitalists are giving out huge amounts of pain meds these days. I remember when I started nursing (10 years ago) we gave out demerol (wow!) and morphine only. To give diludid was a rarity and it was reserved for someone with chronic pain or someone in intense pain that demerol or morphine didn't work for. These days demerol isn't used and morphine is even going by the wayside except for cardiac patients.
For our chronic pain patients and really everyone we are giving out diludid like it is candy. For those that come in with acute pain they will get anywhere from 0.5-2 mg IV q 4-6 hours depending on their age & size, etc. But for those that are our chronic pain patients we are giving anywhere from 2-8 mg IV q 2-4 hours!!!! Yes that's right we sometimes are giving 8mg of IV diludid q3h!! That's enough to kill an elephant! But the patient that was getting it last week was complaining that it wasn't enough! What???
This is becoming disturbing to us nurses and we were talking about it the other day. We are surprised about several things: 1) the doctors are ordering doses this high, 2) the pharmacists are allowing us to administer doses this high and 3) patients are tolerating doses this high without complications.
So my question for those out there reading this is........
Is this happening out there or just here?