Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Needle-related infections soar in Minnesota as opioid epidemic lingers


October 1, 2018

Costly and dangerous heroin-related infections have risen sharply in Minnesota since 2010, a frightening but little-noticed byproduct of the state’s opioid epidemic that is presenting local hospitals with patients who need lengthy and expensive treatment.

Since 2010, for example, admissions at Minnesota hospitals for heart valve infections among drug users have more than quadrupled, from 18 to at least 81. While the full impact on Minnesota’s health care system stemming from injecting opioids is unclear, doctors report a growing number of grave infection cases — patients who require up to six weeks of intravenous antibiotic therapy.


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