• Chung CP, Callahan ST, Cooper WO, Murray KT, Hall K, Dudley JA, Michael Stein C, Ray WA. Development of an algorithm to identify serious opioid toxicity in children. BMC research notes. 8. 293 p. PMID: 26141980 [PubMed]. PMCID: PMC4491206.


The use of opioids is increasing in children; therefore, opioid toxicity could be a public health problem in this vulnerable population. However, we are not aware of a published algorithm to identify cases of opioid toxicity in children using administrative databases. We sought to develop an algorithm to identify them. After review of literature and de-identified computer profiles, a broad set of ICD-9 CM codes consistent with serious opioid toxicity was selected. Based on these codes, we identified 195 potential cases of opioid toxicity in children enrolled in Tennessee Medicaid. Medical records were independently reviewed by two physicians; episodes considered equivocal were reviewed by an adjudication committee. Cases were adjudicated as Group 1 (definite/probable), Group 2 (possible), or Group 3 (excluded).