Alexis LaPietra, DO
With the opioid epidemic ever present in US hospitals, emergency physicians working with anesthesiologists to manage pain in the ED setting are on the front lines of this urgent public health crisis. Alexis LaPietra, DO, a medical director for pain management in the emergency department of St. Joseph’s Healthcare System, shares some key takeaways and lessons learned when developing and implementing a formal program focused on novel alternatives to opioid prescriptions for pain. The ALTOSM (Alternatives To Opioids) program uses alternatives such as nitrous oxide, trigger point injections, Lidoderm patches, anti-inflammatory medications, muscle relaxants and ultrasound-guided nerve blocks, whenever possible, for appropriate patients to manage their pain in the emergency department. Read Dr. LaPietra’s article to learn more about how a program such as ALTOSM can be successful in your hospital.