How pain scores escalated the opioid crisis

“It’s an 8,” I heard him say from behind the curtain as I walked into the room.

The nurse’s aide dutifully recorded the number while the automated blood pressure cuff searched for his pulse, and the plastic clip on the tip of his index finger measured his oxygen saturation.

“What does an 8 mean?” I asked.

“Oxycodone!” he chirped cheerfully, without a moment’s hesitation.  “An 8 means oxycodone.  Five milligrams!”

“Ah, but you’re wrong,” …

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