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FSU-Panama City Hosted Event Aimed at Using Opioid Alternatives

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) – The opioid crisis is causing some healthcare professionals to think of alternative solutions for pain relief.

FSU-Panama City hosted The Society for Opioid Free Anesthesia Congress Friday through Sunday. The Society for Opioid Free Anesthesia is often called “SOFA.”

“So, the first day was a hands-on workshop utilizing ultrasound to provide procedural pain relief for patients through peripheral nerve blocks,” SOFA Founder and President Tom Baribeault said.

The event focused on finding different pathways to pain relief.

“Right now, we are sort of in the middle of overlapping epidemics in this country,” Baribeault said. “We have the opioid epidemic, and we have the chronic pain epidemic. The original ways of treating pain are no longer as effective as they used to be.”

Hosts of the event said nurses also sat in on lectures about alternative anesthesia techniques.

Some Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists, or CRNA’s, are encouraging others to participate in the future.

“I encourage other folks to come to this event because they need to open their eyes to what the possibilities are and their options when they’re having surgery,” CRNA Alexandra Campbell said.

Other nurses said a build-up in tolerance is a big contributor to its ineffectiveness. That, in turn, can cause an increase in dosages. However, there is hope.

“We have these wonderful hospitals, locally, that service this community,” Stacey VanDyke, Director of FSU-Panama City’s Nurse Anesthesia Program, said. “It’s important we bring that information back to our colleagues here and give the best care we can to Floridians and the people of our community.”

Participants said the information they learned at the Congress shouldn’t be ignored.

VanDyke said around 120 people attended the event each day.

Source: WJHG News