St. Joseph’s Healthcare System has officially announced ALTO, Alternatives to Opiates Program, the first program of its kind in the United States. Led by Dr. Mark Rosenberg, chairman of emergency medicine and medical director for population health at St. Joseph’s Healthcare System, and spearheaded by Dr. Alexis LaPietra, medical director of pain management in the emergency department at St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center, the program hopes to stem the use of opiates whenever possible in the emergency department. The ALTO Program was launched in early January 2016, with patients treated with alternative protocols instead of opioids when they previously would have been treated with the narcotic pain medicine. The program uses targeted non-opioid medications, trigger-point injections, nitrous oxide and ultrasound-guided nerve blocks to tailor its patients’ pain management needs and avoid opioids whenever possible. Some examples of use are cases of kidney stones, acute low-back pain, broken bones, acute heada

Chronic Pain

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