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Pethidine addiction high among nurses and doctors

Pethidine  addiction is a serious thing that needs to be looked at. This article looks at Pethidine and its abuse and subsequent addiction among most nurses and doctors.

What is Pethidine?

Pethidine is an Injection which  is used to relieve moderate to severe pain. Including pain associated with childbirth, or during an anaesthetic or following an operation. It is a type of medicine which is referred to us an Opioid Analgesic. An Opioid  is a substance which is similar to opium. An example is a strong pain reliever such as morphine or the famous codeine.

Based on the above explanation, one may ask.

Well, we can say pethidine and tramadol are  both effective in providing analgesia in pediatric patients. However,pethidine  is known to provide better postoperative analgesia than tramadol.
This must also be noted that changes in the following: blood pressure, heart rate and arterial oxygen saturation were minimal and were similar in both drugs

Pethidine addiction high among nurses and doctors, causing many to go mad.

Bilge Burçak Annagü did a research  under Pethidine Addiction which was published in the European Journal of General Medicine  2012 with the title: A Nurse with Pethidine Addiction.
These were the findings.
The study was on a 37 year old nurse who was given pethidine to relieve her after a gynecologic operation postoperatively when she was only 31 years.  She then started abusing it and had no problem finding the drug initially since she was at the surgery unit. She would ask doctors to prescribed the drug for her. She later had difficulty in finding the drug and had to resort to stealing. She was later dismissed and had divorce too. She added that she would lied that she had ovarian cancer and will be admitted to enable her get pethidine.
These are the things she was experiencing when she became addictive.
 She said she could eat very little and she appeared older than her real age. The pethidine addict appeared cachectic and  self interest and care was low. Her speech was also a little bit faster.
Moreover, affection was dysforic and no psychotic finding was defined and she finally died of pethidine overdone.

Pethidine addiction in Ghana.

A research done by Joseph Oppong Brenya in the Center for Health Journalism of the University of Southern California(2015) gives an overview of pethidine addiction in Ghana. He indicated that:
“OSEIVIEWS’s investigations have revealed that several doctors and nurses in Ghana’s health facilities are abusing Pethidine, a strong painkiller that has the components of heroin and cocaine. The only Psychiatrist at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital in Kumasi, Dr. Gordon Donnir who confirmed this in an exclusive interview with, Ultimate FM says the drug has severe side effects on its users, some of whom have become very addicted to it.”
He further added that “Chronic dependence on the drug can also lead to severe organ damage, respiratory depression, infection of the heart, subsequent collapse of the lungs, and kidney and liver failure. Dr. Donnir, who made the startling revelations to Ultimate Radio, also confirmed that some nurses and doctors have died from the highly addictive painkiller. The drug is regularly administered in the emergency units and maternity wards at hospitals.”
What are the authorities in the health sector doing to stop this. There have been a crusade against tramadol  abused and that of codeine. What about Pethidine? It is because it is not on a wide scale? is using this medium to appeal to the Ghana Health Service to launch an intensive education of the menace to nib it in the bud.

By Robert

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