Tag Archive for: Heart Failure

Why we Should Consider Not Using Morphine in Acute Heart Failure

02 Aug
August 2, 2018

Background/Introduction: Acute heart failure is a common diagnosis encountered among patients presenting to the Emergency Department with complaints of shortness of breath. The emergency treatment of these patients has traditionally focused on alleviation of their symptoms of breathlessness and anxiety in addition to optimization of hemodynamics and rapid reduction in both preload and afterload. The treatment of associated symptoms has often included the administration of morphine, which has been posited to have both beneficial physiologic (vasodilation, reduction of preload) and central nervous system (reduction of breathlessness, anxiety, and pain) effects. However, recent experimental and experiential data have pointed to morphine’s potential for effecting negative physiological and CNS responses, thereby raising the possibility of increasing patient morbidity and/or mortality. Additionally, no large randomized controlled trials have been conducted to study the potential risks and benefits of morphine administration in patients presenting with acute heart failure. Despite these factors, a contingent of Emergency Physicians continue to routinely use morphine in the treatment of patients presenting with acute heart failure. Read more →