For a long time, we didn’t do a great job managing our residents with pain and many of us were cited at harm levels for it. Today we do a much better job at managing resident pain which allows them to enjoy a more engaged lifestyle in our centers. One of the more common pain medications used today is “Tramadol” (Ultram). This medication is usually the first or second line therapy for patients with chronic, non-cancer pain and the use has increased rapidly worldwide.
The bad news is that researchers have identified that this medication can increase the risk of hip fractures! Although additional research needs to be done it would make sense that a risk/benefit analysis be conducted prior to initiating Tramadol for pain management. Maybe go back to basics and try NSAIDs or even Codeine first? Talk to your Medical Director and pharmacy to determine what your plan of action should be. Let’s keep people safe out there!