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  • Writer's pictureThe Archivist

Why Are We Not Talking About Why the Shooter Killed His Surgeon? His Pain Management.

There is a lot to be said in general regarding the gun laws in this country and why an 18 year old can purchase an AR-15 but not a beer. There is definitely a gun violence epidemic in this country, a topic which deserves a separate post in itself.

The hospital shooting in Tulsa, Oklahoma has caught the attention of the nation after being the second shooting in the country in less than 10 days. However what I would like to talk about is not why there needs to be more stringent gun control in our country, but another issue that has also surfaced due to this unfortunate incident.

The pain management in this country.

The opioid epidemic has been an issue that has plagued our country for quite some time now. Thankfully there are certain measures in place in the medical community that prevent patients from acquiring multiple narcotic prescriptions. Many hospitals have a pain management system in place which focuses on using non-narcotics for pain management before resorting to narcotics. However despite these measures, it is unfortunate that there are still many Americans who claim that their pain has been mismanaged.

A resident doctor from Long Island, NY states that she recently underwent a colorectal surgery in the NYC area, and her pain management was absolutely subpar. She states,

“I rejected the narcotic they gave me because it just makes things worse for me from the last time I took it 4 years ago. So I was rudely told off that Tylenol was the ONLY option and then was sent my merry way. Ladies and gentlemen, I was back in an ER before my dad could even enter the highway. That’s how bad the pain was. All I’m saying is, I mentioned my history like 10 times. Nobody listened. In my case, just an appropriate look at my history would have saved me hours and hours of writhing pain“.

The number of patients who are not provided with an adequate pain management plan is what leads to unfortunate events like the one that took place in Tulsa this past week.

The medical community needs to reflect on this incident, and regarding the need to come up with a long term pain management plan for patients. There should not be a cookie cutter approach where all patients are thrown the same over the counter meds or the same narcotics. Thankfully we have pain management residency programs and specialists who are trained to provide their expertise in this arena, but clearly the Tulsa incident has shown us that there is still more work that needs to be done.

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