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Answers from our Priests for Life Medical Team


Submitted by: JK on  5/9/2011
Answered by: Matthew P. Harrison, M.D.
Topic: Morphine Drip
Question:
Is morphine at 20 mg/hour an unusually high rate for a morphine drip?
   
Answer:
Obviously this is a large amount of morphine.  But asking if it is appropriate treatment is a very different question.  If a patient had been on chronic narcotics for pain control, was at the end of life and the medication was being used solely to control pain, then it might be appropriate.  If there was an unintended side effect of reducing respirations which ultimately hastened death, the treatment still might be appropriate if needed for pain relief.

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