ProMedica hospitals using nitrous oxide in emergency departments

Press Staff Writer

        ProMedica has announced the availability of nitrous oxide in the emergency departments at ProMedica Toledo and Flower hospitals.
        The implementation is called the Prescribing Alternatives Instead of Narcotics (PAIN) project, which is part of ProMedica’s ongoing efforts to shift the approach to pain management. The PAIN project is a grant-funded program with an overarching goal to reduce opioid use in emergency departments.
        Nitrous oxide, often referred to as laughing gas, is a colorless, odorless gas that is absorbed by inhalation. It’s mild pain-relieving properties work to help disassociate from pain, aiding in pain management. Easy-to-administer, it is fast-acting and has few side effects.
        Nitrous oxide has shown a reduction in pain for migraines and musculoskeletal injuries, which are among the top presenting pain complaints seen in Toledo and Flower Hospital’s emergency departments.
        A recent study from the National Institute on Drug Abuse showed that about one in 20 patients who were discharged from an emergency department after being treated for a nonfatal opiate overdose died within one year of the visit, making emergency departments ideal locations for using alternative treatments to opiates.
        ProMedica’s PAIN program will also use non-pharmacological pain reduction interventions, such as the Securing Access For Emergency BBB Recovery (SAFER) program. The SAFER program works to identify patients with opioid use disorder, initiate treatment, and transition patients to long-term care to improve pathways to treatment via community hand-offs.
        Nearly 8,000 individuals are expected to be served through the PAIN program over a three-year project period. “Providing alternatives and educating patients on the priority to reduce pain verses the perceived desire to eliminate pain can help dramatically reduce opioid use disorder in our community,” said Brian Kaminski, DO, ProMedica vice president of quality and patient safety. “Opioids will be regarded as second-line treatment and remain an option as a rescue medication.”


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